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Level Global Will Pay $21.5 Million in Insider-Trading Case

Level Global Investors LP agreed to pay more than $21.5 million to settle U.S. regulatory claims that it engaged in repeated insider trading in Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. securities.

The settlement with the Greenwich, Connecticut-based hedge-fund advisory firm follows 2012 cases against the firm’s founder, Anthony Chiasson and a former analyst, Spyridon “Sam” Adondakis, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a complaint filed today at U.S. District court in Manhattan.

“The insider trading at Level Global was hardly an isolated event -– it occurred repeatedly, and involved multiple companies and multiple quarterly announcements,” Sanjay Wadhwa, senior associate director of the SEC’s New York office, said in a statement. “This settlement serves as another reminder that the SEC will hold hedge-fund managers accountable when their employees violate the securities laws.”

A phone call to Andrew Levander, an attorney for Level Global at Dechert LLP, wasn’t immediately returned.

The SEC is pursuing its insider-claims against Chiasson, who was convicted in December in a parallel criminal proceeding, the agency said in a statement. Adondakis previously pleaded guilty to related criminal charges and settled the SEC’s claims, which also involved six other defendants, some of whom worked at Diamondback Capital Management. The investigation has also involved former employees of SAC Capital Advisors LP.

According to the SEC, during 2008 and 2009, Adondakis passed confidential information about Dell and Nvidia’s revenue and profit margins to Chiasson, who used it to execute trades on behalf of Level Global funds. In 2011, following news reports of the government’s insider trading investigation, Level Global announced it would close its business. It is currently in the process of winding down, the SEC said.

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