Broker in Grand Central Insider-Trading Scheme Gets 3 Years

  • Vladimir Eydelman is one of three men to plead guilty in plot
  • Scheme centered around iconic clock in center of terminal

For many people, the clock that sits atop the information booth in the middle of Grand Central Terminal can serve as a vivid memory of a visit to New York City. Ex-Morgan Stanley and Oppenheimer & Co. broker-dealer Vladimir Eydelman might never want to see it again.

Eydelman, 44, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, became the last of three men to be sentenced in a $5.6 million insider-trading scheme centered around the iconic clock when he received three years in federal prison Friday after admitting to taking part in the plot, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

Prosecutors said Eydelman received tips from a client on tender offers and mergers and acquisitions while standing at the clock. The client, Frank Tamayo, 43, of Brooklyn, New York, also pleaded guilty. Tamayo would write relevant ticker symbols on paper or napkins, pass them to Eydelman and then eat the evidence.

Tamayo, who was sentenced to a year in prison on Sept. 21, got the tips from Steven Metro, 42, of Katonah, New York, a law school friend who worked as the managing clerk at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Metro also pleaded guilty and got the longest punishment when he was sentenced to almost four years on Sept. 14.

Dozen Transactions

Prosecutors said Eydelman used the information to trade ahead of more than a dozen transactions, starting with Liberty Media Group’s $530 million investment in Sirius XM Holdings Inc. in 2009 and ending with OfficeMax Inc.’s merger with Office Depot Inc. in 2013.

Metro didn’t work on many of the transactions involved but would scour the computer files at his firm, one of the nation’s leading merger and acquisition advisers, for terms like “merger agreement,” “bid letter” and “due diligence,” according to prosecutors. He’d then pass the information to Tamayo.

Eydelman was also fined $15,000 and ordered to forfeit more than $1.2 million. He had faced as long as 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine for each of the three counts to which he pleaded guilty. He also paid $2.5 million in October 2015 to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil claims.

Prosecutors didn’t identify Tamayo as the middleman when they announced the charges against the three men. They said the middleman cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and secretly recorded conversations.

Eydelman’s attorney, James Ross Smart, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail or an e-mail seeking comment on the sentencing.

The case is U.S. v. Eydelman, 3:15-cr-00464, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton.)

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