September 21, 2012
SEC Obtains Emergency Order Freezing Assets of Broker Charged with Insider Trading in Burger King Stock
The SEC obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of a stockbroker who used nonpublic information from a customer and engaged in insider trading ahead of Burger King’s announcement that it was being acquired by a New York private equity firm. According to the SEC, Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto, a citizen of Brazil who was working for Wells Fargo in Miami, learned about the impending acquisition from a brokerage customer who invested at least $50 million in a fund managed by private equity firm 3G Capital Partners Ltd. and used to acquire Burger King in 2010. Prado misused the confidential information to illegally trade in Burger King stock for $175,000 in illicit profits, and he tipped others living in Brazil and elsewhere who also traded on the nonpublic information.
The SEC obtained the asset freeze in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The agency took the emergency action to prevent Prado from transferring his assets outside of U.S. jurisdiction. Prado recently abandoned his most current job at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, put his Miami home up for sale, and began transferring all of his assets out of the country.
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