The SEC alleges that James Im and Kee Chan each misrepresented price information while acting as intermediaries on trades with Nomura’s customers who sought to buy and sell CMBS on the secondary market. In certain instances, Im and Chan allegedly pretended they were still negotiating bond purchases with a third-party seller at higher prices when Nomura had already acquired the bonds at a lower price.
SEC Charges Nomura Securities International Inc. Head Traders
On May 15, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged a pair of former head traders who ran the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) desk at Nomura Securities International Inc. with deliberately lying to customers in order to inflate the profits of the CMBS desk and line their own pockets as a result.
The SEC alleges that in one instance, Im bragged about his purposeful deception of a customer, and Chan once altered an email to a customer to prop up his lie about the bid price for a bond. According to the SEC’s complaints, Chan and Im fraudulently generated more than $750,000 in extra trading profits for the Nomura CMBS desk, and they received substantial bonuses based largely on the desk’s performance.
Chan agreed to settle the charges by paying $51,965 in disgorgement plus $11,758 in interest and a $150,000 penalty. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Chan also agreed to be barred from the securities industry with the right to reapply after three years. The settlement is subject to court approval. The case continues against Im.
“As alleged in our complaints, Im and Chan operated under cover of an opaque CMBS secondary market to gain illegal trading profits and potentially larger bonuses by lying to firms on the other side of their trades about the prices at which they were buying and selling securities,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.
The SEC’s complaints, filed in federal court in Manhattan, charge Chan and Im with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5.
For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956 or by email at [email protected]. This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal and compliance advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.
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