Former Rochdale Securities trader David Miller has plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with his unauthorized purchase of approximately $1 billion in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock. The fraud ended up causing the end of Rochdale Securities, which essentially shut down in November.
Even well-known Rochdale analyst Dick Bove, who said his loyalty was with Dan Crowley, handed in his resignation from the firm in December in the wake of the fiasco involving Miller’s trade.
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Reuters reports today that Miller entered his plea in a Connecticut courtroom on Monday. He faces up to 25 years in prison, although his sentence could be reduced to between five and eight years if a plea agreement is reached. His sentencing is set for July 8. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed a civil lawsuit against Miller in connection with the criminal case.
The fraudulent trade of approximately 1.6 million shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) happened on Oct. 25, which was the day the company was scheduled to report its third quarter results. Investigators said Miller told Rochdale he made the trade on behalf of a customer who actually ordered only 1,625 shares.
Miller was hoping to turn a profit if the company’s stock price rose after the earnings report, but it declined instead. That left Rochdale under-capitalized according to the SEC. Prosecutors also said Miller defrauded another brokerage by convincing it to sell half a million shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a partial hedge against the purchase he made.
Rochdale Securities has not been named as a defendant in any of the cases and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.