The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of a former Wells Fargo stockbroker in Miami who used nonpublic information and engaged in insider trader before Burger Kings announcement in Sept. 2010 that it was being acquired by 3G Capital.
The SEC alleges that Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto, a Brazilian citizen who was then working for Wells Fargo in Miami, learned about Burger Kings pending sale to the private equity firm from a brokerage customer that has been an investor in a fund managed by 3G Capital Partners.
Prado used the confidential information to illegally trade in Burger King stock for $175,000 in illicit profits, and he tipped at least four others who also traded Burger King based on the nonpublic information, the SEC says.
The SEC obtained the asset freeze in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The agency took the emergency action to prevent Prado from transferring his assets outside of the U.S. Prado had recently left his most recent job at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, put his Miami home up for sale, and began transferring his assets out of the country.
According to the SECs complaint, Prados insider trading in Burger King stock occurred from May 17 to Sept. 1, 2010. News of the Burger King sale to 3G Capital was announced on Sept. 2, 2010.
The SECs complaint against Prado seeks a permanent injunction, repayment of profits illegally obtained with interest and monetary penalties.