Thursday, December 11, 2008
The SEC announced settlements of an enforcement action against eight former employees of Fidelity Investments' equity trading desk, who will collectively pay more than $1 million to settle SEC charges for improperly receiving travel, entertainment, and gifts paid for by outside brokers courting business from Fidelity. The SEC instituted administrative proceedings on March 5, 2008, against 10 former Fidelity employees, including former vice president and head of the trading desk, Scott E. DeSano. The SEC's orders issued today find that DeSano and former Fidelity equity traders Timothy J. Burnieika, David K. Donovan, Edward S. Driscoll, Jeffrey D. Harris, Christopher J. Horan, Steven P. Pascucci and Kirk C. Smith violated the federal securities laws by accepting prohibited compensation from brokers including among them private jet trips, lodging and premium sports tickets. In addition, the Commission also found that DeSano was a cause of Fidelity's failures to seek best execution for its clients and to disclose conflicts of interest to its clients, and that DeSano failed to supervise the 10 traders.