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Trump Media Investor Convicted Of Insider Trading

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On Thursday, a Manhattan grand jury found financier Bruce Garelick guilty of insider trading charges in a scheme that involved the merger of former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company with a publicly traded shell company.

Federal prosecutors had charged Garelick with five counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. 

Authorities claimed Garelick shared confidential information with his boss and at least one other person that Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Truth Social, was close to announcing a merger with Digital World Acquisition Group, the shell company.

Mr. Garelick, 54, a former hedge fund manager, had been a board member of Digital World. 

The New York Times has more:

The information helped two brothers — Michael Shvartsman and Gerald Shvartsman — make nearly $23 million in illegal trading profits by buying Digital World securities in advance of the announcement, which sent the stock soaring. Mr. Garelick, who worked for Michael Shvartsman at a small Miami-based venture capital firm called Rocket One, made about $50,000 by trading off what authorities said was nonpublic information.

Last month, the Shvartsman brothers decided to forgo a trial and pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges. In their plea agreements, prosecutors have recommended a sentence of roughly four to five years for Michael Shvartsman; and three to four years for his younger brother.

Digital World raised about $300 million from investors in its initial public offering in September 2021. A little over a month later, the SPAC announced a deal to merge with Trump Media. After a long delay, the merger was completed in March and Trump Media became a publicly traded company. Mr. Trump’s nearly 70 percent stake in the firm is worth about $6 billion.

In a closing argument, Daniel Nessim, a federal prosecutor, described Mr. Garelick as a “sophisticated professional” who “cheated” and used inside information to benefit himself and his boss, Michael Shvartsman.

Garelick could face at least 25 years in prison.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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