Ex-Broker Faces Insider Charges in Burger King Takeover

A former broker, Waldyr Prado, was accused of using inside information to trade in advance of Burger King’s $4 billion acquisition by 3G Capital Partners.

Federal prosecutors in New York today charged Prado, 43, and Igor Cornelsen, 65, a director of a British Virgin Islands investment firm, with making illegal trades. The two men are Brazilian citizens and aren’t in U.S. custody.

Prado “misappropriated information” he learned from a client to trade in advance of 3G’s takeover of Burger King, which was announced on Sept. 2, 2010, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Prado gained more than $175,000 while Cornelsen took in about $1.4 million, prosecutors said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012 sued Prado, who is also known as Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto. The SEC identified him as a Wells Fargo & Co. employee. Prosecutors, who don’t name Prado’s employer in court papers, said Prado fled the U.S. one month after he was deposed by the SEC.

Prado told his U.S.-based supervisor that he was fleeing “because he believed that he was going to be charged with perjury and because Brazil did not have ‘an extradition policy,’” prosecutors said.

Tony Mattera, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, said the bank “fully cooperated with the SEC and the U.S. Attorney in their investigations.”

The case is U.S. v. Prado, 13-mag-2201, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).