IBM Deal Insider-Trading Suspect Martin Denies Charges

Trent Martin, a former analyst wanted by the U.S. in an insider-trading case over International Business Machines Corp.’s $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS Inc., pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan after spending three months in a Hong Kong prison.

Martin, an Australian citizen, returned to the U.S. March 28 after voluntarily agreeing to be extradited. A magistrate judge released him on a $250,000 bond after his court appearance yesterday in New York.

Martin, who is accused of conspiracy and securities fraud, was arrested in Hong Kong after his U.S. indictment last year. Martin, 33, who allegedly made a profit of $7,900 from insider trading, faces a “relatively” light prison term under U.S. sentencing guidelines, Assistant U.S. Attorney Assistant U.S. Attorney David Massey said in court.

Martin was tipped by a corporate lawyer, not identified in court papers, who was working on the IBM deal and with whom he was close friends, according to prosecutors. Martin bought SPSS stock based on the leak in June 2009 and shared the tip with his Manhattan roommate, Thomas Conradt, who worked as a stockbroker, prosecutors said. Conradt in turn tipped his co-worker and friend David Weishaus, who passed the information to two other brokers they worked with, prosecutors said.

Conradt and Weishaus have pleaded not guilty.

RBS, Nomura

Martin worked at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in the U.S. and an RBS joint venture in Australia before joining Nomura Holdings Inc. in September 2011, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak about the matter.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority lists a Trent Martin who left ABN Amro in 2009 to work at the Stamford office of RBS, which participated in ABN Amro’s takeover in 2007. Martin’s broker registration at RBS ended in November 2010, Finra documents show.

The case is U.S. v. Martin, 12-cr-00887, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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