Former Insider At Major Financial Services Organization Admits Involvement In Multimillion-Dollar Insider Trading Ring
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging ANTHONY VIGGIANO and his co-conspirator, STEPHEN FORLANO, Jr., with securities fraud and conspiracy. VIGGIANO and FORLANO were arrested this morning and will be presented later today. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.
Also unsealed is the guilty plea of CHRISTOPHER SALAMONE. SALAMONE pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla on September 21, 2023, to charges arising from his participation in the insider trading scheme, and he is cooperating with the Government.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Anthony Viggiano betrayed the trust of his employers by tipping his friends with material non-public information, undermining the integrity of our financial markets in the process. No matter how evasive insider traders’ conduct, or the lengths gone to hide their offenses, this Office will track down and prosecute those who attempt to cheat the system.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “This indictment is yet another example of individuals believing they can get away with benefiting from trading on material non-public information. As we have shown before, this type of alleged corporate self-dealing will not be tolerated. The FBI will ensure that those responsible for insider trading face the consequences in the criminal justice system.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court and court filings:
ANTHONY VIGGIANO was employed at two different, leading global financial institutions located in New York, New York, specifically an investment management firm (“Firm-1”) and an investment bank (“Firm-2,” and together with Firm-1, the “Firms”). VIGGIANO worked as an analyst in Firm-1’s New York, New York, office between in or about April 2021 and in or about October 2021 and then worked at Firm-2 in New York, New York, as an associate in the asset management department. While working at the Firms, VIGGIANO received confidential internal communications that contained detailed information about non-public potential strategic partnerships involving Firm-1 and acquisitions involving Firm-2.
VIGGIANO attended college with FORLANO and was a childhood friend of SALAMONE. In violation of the duties that he owed to each of the Firms, VIGGIANO tipped FORLANO and SALAMONE with material nonpublic information (“MNPI”) relating to the names of potential counterparties for Firm-1’s strategic partnerships and, later, information that VIGGIANO learned during his employment at Firm-2 about companies that were potential acquisition targets. After VIGGIANO started working at Firm-2, he continued tipping FORLANO with MNPI that VIGGIANO obtained through his employer. In total, VIGGIANO tipped FORLANO and/or SALAMONE with inside information in advance of at least seven different transactions involving publicly traded companies.
FORLANO and SALAMONE each used MNPI provided by VIGGIANO to purchase shares in companies and to trade call options, including short-dated, out-of-the-money call options. VIGGIANO and SALAMONE agreed to split the profits from their illegal trading, which yielded total illegal profits of over approximately $300,000. FORLANO further provided this MNPI to friends and family through, among other means, a video game console’s audio chat function in order to evade detection by law enforcement. FORLANO himself illegally profited at least approximately $100,000 from the scheme.
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VIGGIANO, 26, of Baldwin, New York, has been charged with eight counts of securities fraud under Title 15, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
FORLANO, 27, of Tampa, Florida, has been charged with three counts of securities fraud under Title 15, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
SALAMONE, 35, of Long Beach, New York, has been charged with three counts of securities fraud under Title 15, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI. He also expressed appreciation for the work of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which separately initiated parallel civil proceedings against the defendants today.
This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Davis and Jared Lenow are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.