Securities trader David Miller has pleaded guilty to fraud after buying $1 billion of Apple stock without permission and bringing down his company. The 40-year-old purchased 1.625 million Apple shares on the day the Cupertino company reported its third-quarter results in October 2012, hoping that he’d be able to make a profit when the share price rose.
Instead, the share price fell and Miller’s gamble backfired, sending Rochdale Securities under.
Miller actually made the purchase on behalf of a client, who had ordered 1,625 Apple shares. It’s alleged that he conspired with another person to order a thousand times that amount to reap the profits if the share price went up, or claim “human error” if the share price dropped.
Rochdale ended up with 1.6 million shares it did not want and lost $5.4 million, pushing its assets below the legal limit for a brokerage and killing the company.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission called Miller’s ploy “deliberate, brazen, and ultimately ill-conceived.”
Miller will be sentenced on July 8. He faces 25 years in prison, but he could get just five to eight years thanks to a plea deal. His attorney insists that he regrets what he did and the damage his actions caused.
“Those who know David know that what happened here was out of character for a kind and generous family man who has lived an otherwise law abiding and good life,” said Kenneth C. Murphy. “When the time comes he will accept his punishment and he will spend the rest of his life trying to make up for the wrong he committed.”
Source: Sky News