A Melville financial adviser and a Virginia attorney were charged Wednesday with collecting more than $400,000 through trading on inside information about a merger by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, officials said.
Tibor Klein, 43, who operates Klein Financial Services in Valley Stream, and Robert Schulman, 58, of McLean, Virginia, who practices in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, were charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.
Klein was arraigned in federal court in Central Islip, pleaded not guilty, and was released on $100,000 bail secured by his home and the signatures of two family members.
His attorney, Randi Chavis, declined to comment. The prosecutor in the case, David Pitluck, declined to comment.
Schulman had a removal hearing at the federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and was released on a personal recognizance bond. His attorney could not immediately be reached.
In a statement, Eastern District United States Attorney Robert Capers said that Schulman and Klein “were licensed professionals who used their positions of trust to fraudulently enrich themselves. Schulman, an attorney, violated the trust and confidence of his client for personal gain passing along his client’s sensitive and valuable information to Klein.”
Klein was Schulman’s personal financial adviser, Capers said.
Further, Capers said, “Klein exacerbated this crime by using the fraudulently obtained information to trade in a number of his clients’ accounts.”
The head of the Postal Inspection Service in New York, Philip Bartlett, said in a statement that Klein and Bartlett “allegedly used propriety information available solely through their trusted positions for an unfair advantage in the financial market to satisfy their appetite for money.”
According to the indictment, in 2010, Schulman represented King, a Tennessee pharmaceutical company in a patent litigation case. Through this work, Schulman learned of a pending merger between King and Pfizer and told Klein.
Klein then bought or had an unnamed broker buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of King stock and call options, the indictment said. When the Pfizer merger went through in October 2010, Klein sold the stock and call options, making a profit of $400,000, which he split with Schulman and clients.
Klein and Schulman theoretically face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, but would probably receive a much shorter sentence.