Seven hedge fund portfolio managers and analysts have been charged in a $61.8m insider trading scheme as US authorities escalate their crackdown on Wall Street corruption, writes the FT. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested three hedge fund managers in New York, Boston and Los Angeles on Wednesday morning. According to the unsealed complaint, the “circle of friends” once worked together at other investment firms and swapped information about Dell’s first and second quarter 2008 earnings and other technology companies in exchange for tips and cash payments. The criminal charges highlight how US prosecutors and the FBI are escalating their investigation into insider trading, dubbed “Perfect Hedge” and the probe is expected to lead to charges against other individuals, people familiar with the matter say. The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil fraud charges on Wednesday. The WSJ journal reports that investigators have enlisted the help of an extensive range people, including those employed at various money managers, as the scope of investigations has widened. Read more
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