SEC settles with whistleblower Aguirre for $755,000

The New York Times reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed to pay $755,000 to settle a whistleblower claim by its former attorney Gary Aguirre. Aguirre had been investigating insider trading by Pequot Capital Management and its co-founder, Arthur Samberg. In 2005, Aguirre disclosed that his superiors blocked him from interviewing Samberg’s friend, John Mack. Those superiors then fired Aguirre, conducted their own interview of Mack, and closed the investigation with no finding of wrongdoing. Recently, however, the SEC launched a new investigation of other trades by Pequot that Aguirre had identified as suspicious.  Samberg agreed to return $18 million in profits, pay a $10 million penalty. Samberg is now barred from investment trading, although he had already closed Pequot.  A judge of the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) approved Aguirre’s settlement last week — five years after the SEC fired Aguirre.

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