Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The SEC today filed a settled civil injunctive action against David A. Schwinger, an attorney and former managing partner of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP's (KMR) Washington, D.C. office. Schwinger was charged with engaging in illegal insider trading by purchasing shares of Vastera, Inc. (Vastera). The complaint alleges that Schwinger purchased Vastera common stock on Nov. 5, 2004, on the basis of material, nonpublic information that an acquisition of Vastera was imminent. The complaint further alleges that Schwinger learned of the impending merger while interviewing Vastera's Chief Counsel, who was then seeking to be hired by KMR as a partner. In responding to Schwinger's inquiries during the interview process about the Chief Counsel's reasons for leaving Vastera, the Chief Counsel allegedly disclosed to Schwinger no later than Oct. 27, 2004, that Vastera's acquisition was imminent. On the basis of that material, nonpublic information, the complaint alleges that Schwinger purchased 10,000 shares of Vastera common stock on Nov. 5, 2004, at an average price of $1.70 per share. The complaint further alleges that Schwinger knew that Vastera was a KMR client at the time of the purchase. According to the complaint, Vastera announced on Jan. 7, 2005, that it was being acquired by JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. The complaint alleges that Schwinger knew, or was reckless in not knowing, that he purchased Vastera shares based on material, nonpublic information obtained during the interview process and in breach of a fiduciary duty owed to his firm, KMR. Schwinger is alleged to have imputed profits of $13,027. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, Schwinger has consented to the entry of a final judgment that: (i)permanently enjoins him from violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; (ii) requires him to disgorge $13,027 in illicit gains and $1,940 in prejudgment interest thereon; and (iii)orders him to pay a civil penalty of $26,054.