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UK watchdog slaps $11 million insider trading fine on David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital
LONDON (AP) ' High-profile hedge fund manager David Einhorn and his U.S.-based Greenlight Capital Inc. have been fined 7.2 million pounds ($11.2 million) for trading on inside information, Britain's market regulator said Wednesday.
The Financial Services Authority said Einhorn had been tipped off that leading British pub operator Punch Taverns PLC was about to begin raising money by issuing new shares only minutes before he dumped millions of the company's shares on June 9, 2009. As the value of Punch shares would have fallen following the announcement of the share issue, Greenlight avoided making a substantial loss by dumping the shares.
The authority said that while it accepted that Einhorn did not believe he was breaking the rules, the tip-off "was inside information and Einhorn should have appreciated this." The authority added that the lapse was particularly egregious given Einhorn's prominence.
"Einhorn is an experienced professional with a high profile in the industry," said Tracey McDermott, the authority's acting director of enforcement and financial crime. "We expect someone in his position to be able to identify inside information when he receives it and to act appropriately. His failure to do so is a serious breach of the expected standards of market conduct."
Einhorn said in a statement that while he believes he did nothing wrong, he and his company had decided to put the matter to rest "rather than continue an arduous fight."
He said the fine would not be borne by Greenlight funds.
Einhorn has been the subject of several media profiles and is the author of "Fooling Some of the People All of The Time."
Financial Services Authority: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/
Greenlight Capital: https://www.greenlightcapital.com/
Einhorn's book: http://foolingsomepeople.com/