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Ex-Optionable Chief Admits to Scheme to Hide Bank Losses

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Former Optionable Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Cassidy pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to hide millions of dollars in losses at the Bank of Montreal.

Cassidy, 52, pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The judge set a Dec. 15 sentencing date.

The case stems from C$680 million ($690.5 million) of pretax commodity-trading losses the bank announced in April 2007. Those losses grew to C$853 million for the fiscal year, paring profit by C$440 million. Cassidy was charged with fraud in 2008 for helping a former trader at the bank conceal the losses.

Cassidy, an ex-convict who hid his criminal record, helped former trader David Lee hide commodity losses from the bank to win business for Optionable, a brokerage firm focusing on energy derivatives, according to prosecutors.

Cassidy was sentenced to 30 months in prison for credit-card fraud in 1997 and six months for income-tax evasion in 1993, court records show.

The case is U.S. v. Cassidy, 08-CR-1101, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net; Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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