A former partner in a major law firm has been named in a 70-count securities fraud indictment, marking the first time the federal government has brought racketeering charges in an insider stock market trading case.
Alfred Elliott, 44, is charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, racketeering and income tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas said.If convicted of the all the charges, Elliott, a former partner in Schiff Hardin and Waite, could face up to 363 years in prison and fines of up to $13.7 million.
Valukas said the racketeering allegation, the first in an insider trading investigation, is "an appropriate charge" designed to bring Elliott an "enhanced sentence" if he is convicted. The case "displays our concern about maintaining integrity in our markets," he said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange aided in the investigation of Elliott. The Schiff Hardin law firm cooperated fully in the probe, Valukas said.
"The law firm was a victim of activity," he said.
Elliott is accused of learning of nine separate pending stock acquisitions involving the law firm's clients, then buying large amounts of stock in order to reap large profits.
Valukas said Elliot reaped more than $687,000 between March 1984 and April 1986.
In a separate and unrelated case, eight former officers of a Chicago-based brokerage house were indicted this week for allegedly defrauding customers of approximately $1.2 million through excessive trading.
The former president of Whitehall Investors International Inc. and six employees were named in the indictment, Valukas said.