Former Stockbroker Pleads Guilty in IBM-SPSS Tipping Case

A former New York stockbroker admitted to sharing inside tips about International Business Machines Corp.’s $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS Inc. that he picked up from his roommate.

Thomas Conradt, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud today in Manhattan federal court. Conradt was accused of learning about the deal from his roommate, Trent Martin, a former financial analyst who was extradited from Hong Kong last month.

Prosecutors said Martin was tipped by a corporate lawyer, not identified in court papers, who was working on the IBM deal in 2009.

“I understood this information was inside information and that it was not publically available,” Conradt told U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. today. “I can assure the court that I will never put myself in this position again.”

Carter set sentencing for Oct. 3

Martin allegedly bought SPSS stock based on the information and shared the tip with Conradt. Conradt in turn was accused of telling a friend, David Weishaus, who passed the information to two other brokers, according to the government.

Following his extradition, Martin, an Australian citizen, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud.

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

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