Long Island Financial Adviser Charged With Insider Trades

A financial adviser from New York’s Long Island was charged in an insider trading scheme for allegedly selling advance earnings tips on public companies to an undercover FBI agent, federal prosecutors said.

Damian Perna, of Oceanside, New York, was accused of obtaining draft earnings reports for companies such as Consolidated Graphics Inc., Alamo Group Inc., Miller Industries Inc. and Innophops Holdings Inc. before their public release through a contact at an investor-relations firm. After getting an advance copy of one earnings report, Perna sold it for $7,000 to a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent working under cover, prosecutors said.

Perna, charged with conspiracy to commit insider trading, faces 25 years in prison if convicted, said Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn. The alleged scheme ran from June 2011 to October 2012 and the investigation is continuing, Nardoza said.

The defendant was arrested this morning at his home by the FBI, said Peter Donald, a spokesman for the FBI’s New York office. There was a Damian Perna employed at First Midwest Securities Inc. from May 2009 to September 2012, according to records with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

A voice-mail message left yesterday after regular business hours at the office of FMSI’s president, J. Eric Hagler, seeking comment about Perna, wasn’t immediately returned.

Perna appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes in Brooklyn federal court and was released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond.

Stuart Rubin, a lawyer for Perna, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message left at his office yesterday after business hours seeking comment on the charges.

The case is U.S. v. Perna, 13-cr-00103, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).