A Port Washington man has been charged with fraud stemming from an insider trading scheme that federal authorities said yielded more than $8.5 million in illicit profits, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Authorities said Sergei Polevikov, 48, is charged with one count of securities fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of investment company fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the first two counts and five years in prison on the third count. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, authorities said.
The DOJ said the Securities & Exchange Commission also has brought a "related civil action" against Polevikov.
It was not immediately clear if Polevikov was represented by counsel.
Authorities said that between 2014 and 2019 Polevikov was employed as a quantitative analyst for an unnamed asset management firm based in New York and that, in that role, he had "regular access to information regarding contemplated securities trades" on behalf of clients, including investment companies.
The complaint said Polevikov used his position as an analyst to gain insider trading information unavailable to the public. He then used a trading account set up in his wife's name to make trades that earned him more than $8.5 million during the period in question, the Department of Justice said.
His wife was not named and has not been charged.
The DOJ said the scheme was "designed to profit by executing trades that take advantage of relatively small price movements" in a stock that followed from large securities orders executed by his firm.
Authorities said Polevikov "lied" to his firm about his personal trading accounts and trades, in violation of the Investment Company Act.
"As alleged, Sergei Polevikov violated not just the terms of his employment but also the law when he exploited material, nonpublic information to make personal trades ahead of large institutional trades, reaping more than $8 million in illicit profits," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement released Thursday. "Despite his alleged efforts to conceal it, Polevikov’s scheme was uncovered, and he is facing serious federal charges," she said in the statement.
Also in a statement released Thursday, FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: "Using material, nonpublic information to exploit small price movements in his employer’s stock, Polevikov, as we allege, realized significant financial gains for himself through his trades. While these schemes are unfortunately all too common, so is the response of the FBI – if you misappropriate proprietary information for your own personal gain, you should expect to hear from us."