SEC fingers ex-Goldman trader for insider trading

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(Bloomberg) — A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) trader and his father were accused by U.S. regulators of making illegal trades based on confidential information related to the Wall Street firm’s exchange-traded fund investments.

Spencer Mindlin, 33, and Alfred Mindlin, 68, reaped at least $57,000 in illicit profits by trading in December 2007 and March 2008 “with knowledge of massive, market-moving trades” that Goldman Sachs planned to execute in four securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission said today in a statement. The Mindlins denied the claims, which were outlined in an administrative proceeding filed by the SEC’s enforcement unit.

The younger Mindlin, who worked on Goldman Sachs’s ETF desk, learned of the firm’s plans to buy and sell large amounts of securities underlying an ETF known as SPDR S&P Retail ETF, according to the order. He tipped his father, and the two took long and short positions depending on whether Goldman Sachs intended to buy or sell, the order said. The insider-trading claims are the SEC’s first involving ETFs, the agency said.