WASHINGTON – The former Chief Executive Officer of ConvergEx Global Markets Limited (CGM Limited) pleaded guilty this afternoon in federal court in Newark, New Jersey for his role in a scheme to commit securities and wire fraud from 2006 through 2011.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey, Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) made the announcement.
Anthony Blumberg, 53, of Short Hills, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares of the District of New Jersey, in Newark, to one count of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 5 before Chief Judge Linares.
According to court documents, CGM Limited was a wholly owned subsidiary of ConvergEx Group LLC (“ConvergEx Group”). As part of his plea today, Blumberg admitted that clients placed orders to buy or sell securities with G-Trade Services LLC and ConvergEx Limited, subsidiaries of ConvergEx Group that offered global trading services to clients, which in turn routed orders to CGM Limited. Blumberg also admitted that traders at CGM Limited executed the orders and sometimes added a “spread,” (a mark-down on the sale of a security or a mark-up on the purchase of a security) to the prices they had obtained for non-fiduciary clients. To hide the fact that spread had been taken, on several occasions from 2007 to 2011, Blumberg and traders acting under his direction, acting in response to requests by clients for information that could reveal the existence of spread, sent false reports (known as time and sales reports) to these clients. The false time and sales reports contained fabricated details regarding the individual transactions, or “fills,” executed during the course of a day to complete a client’s orders, including false information concerning the number of shares involved in a fill, the time at which the fill was executed, and the price at which shares were either purchased or sold.
Blumberg also admitted that he and his co-conspirators agreed to violate a client’s instructions to provide real-time transactional data through an immediate data feed with details of trades that CGM Limited executed for the client by providing “batch fills” that hid the actual information the client sought.
Blumberg is the fourth individual to plead guilty as a result of the investigation into ConvergEx Group and CGM Limited’s practices. On Dec. 18, 2013, CGM Limited pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud before Judge Linares. On the same day, ConvergEx Group entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. Collectively, the two ConvergEx entities paid $43.8 million in criminal penalties and restitution.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Washington, D.C. and New York offices of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Gary A. Winters and Assistant Chief Justin D. Weitz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Murphy, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey Economic Crimes Unit in Newark. The Department appreciates the substantial assistance of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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