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Judge sentences Richard Cunniffe to probation for insider trading

A Long Island man who was part of the father-son insider trading scheme involving investment banker Sean Stewart and then wore a wire to help the government, was sentenced to 1 year of probation in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

Richard Cunniffe, 63, of Medford, was also ordered to forfeit $900,000 in profits from being part of the scheme in which Stewart passed information from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Perella Weinberg Partners to his father Robert, of North Merrick.

Cunniffe and Robert Stewart allegedly made more than $1 million from trading on the tips between 2011 and 2015. Cunniffe, confronted by the FBI, wore a wire while talking to the father and recorded a key conversation in which he seemed to admit Sean Stewart knew he was trading on the tips.

U.S. District Judge Laura Swain said she believed Cunniffe had made a mistake that wouldn’t be repeated, and Cunniffe deserved credit for the assistance he gave prosecutors after he was caught.

Sean Stewart claimed at trial that he was careless in talking about deals he was working on, but didn’t know that his father was sharing the information with Cunniffe or trading on it. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison for insider trading. Robert Stewart, like Cunniffe, got probation.

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