NEW YORK - A former Assent LLC employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy in an insider-trading case revolving around illicit profiting off information about upgrades or downgrades by UBS AG analysts.
Laurence McKeever admitted to agreeing in August 2006 with another Assent employee _ Samuel W. Childs Jr. _ to conceal what appeared to insider trading by customers.
"We agreed to remain silent about these trades. In exchange, I received $30,000, " McKeever said at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska in Manhattan.
Under a plea agreement with the government, the stipulated sentencing guidelines range is 10 months to 16 months. McKeever, 46, had faced up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Sentencing is set for May 1.
He also will forfeit $30,000 under the plea agreement.
Michael Grudberg, McKeever's lawyer, declined comment after the hearing.
McKeever is one of 13 people charged last year in two separate schemes to allegedly use inside information to make improper trades ahead of public announcements of stock recommendations by UBS analysts and ahead of news of pending mergers and acquisitions in which Morgan Stanley was acting as an adviser.
Prosecutors had alleged that McKeever and Childs received about $30,000 in kickbacks for concealing trades made by customers based on the UBS inside information from higher-level management at Assent. Childs is scheduled to go to trial on the charges in April.
McKeever was originally charged last March with conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of commercial bribery.
Ten people, including McKeever, have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the matter.
Laurence (Larry) Mckeever sentencing delayed until may 20th