Ex-Whittier Analyst Kuo Seeks Probation in Insider Case

Danny Kuo, a former analyst who pleaded guilty in 2012 to taking part in an insider-trading ring that made more than $68 million, asked a judge to sentence him to probation, claiming he’s “been punished enough.”

Kuo, who worked at South Pasadena, California-based Whittier Trust Co., traded on illegal tips and shared information about Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. Prosecutors said he was one of a group of analysts who swapped tips that they passed to the portfolio managers they worked for, helping them make millions of dollars in illicit profits.

“Mr. Kuo’s conduct in this case was an aberration in an otherwise exemplary life,” Kuo’s lawyer, Roland Riopelle, said in a filing today in Manhattan federal court, where his client is scheduled for sentencing July 1.

As part of his guilty plea, Kuo agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation of insider trading at hedge funds.

The portfolio managers connected to the ring include former SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager Michael Steinberg, former Diamondback Capital Management LLC portfolio manager Todd Newman and Level Global Investors LP co-founder Anthony Chiasson. All three men were convicted of insider trading and are appealing.

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan agreed to postpone Kuo’s sentencing, which was scheduled for May. He did so in part so the defendant could participate in his graduation ceremony from the University of Southern California business school, where he received a master’s in business administration.

Federal sentencing guidelines, which aren’t binding on the judge, call for Kuo to get from 2 1/2 years in prison to more than three years.

The case is U.S. v. Kuo, 12-cr-00121, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).