A former Morgan Stanley financial advisor pleaded guilty to an insider trading charge for tipping a childhood friend to Gilead Sciences plan in 2011 to buy Pharmasset Inc, three days before the $11.2bn takeover was announced, court and regulatory records show.
Reuters reports that Kevin Dowd, 38, on Monday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud before U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson in Trenton, New Jersey.
The Boca Raton, Florida resident faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on 15th January, 2014.
Dowd's plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey.
Peter Willis, a lawyer for Dowd, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to court papers, Dowd learned about the pending merger from a Pharmasset director, who had been the largest customer of the Aventura, Florida branch where Dowd had worked.
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