FINRA Bans Former Goldman Sachs Analyst for Insider Trading

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred former Goldman Sachs research analyst Brian Maguire for purchasing securities using insider information, the act popularized as insider trading.

Trading with any non-public information is a crime in the United States under federal law.

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Announced on Tuesday, the self-regulatory organization detailed that Maguire bought stocks of two companies in April 2020 and June 2020 after learning that one of his fellow analysts is upgrading the recommendations for the stocks.

A Federal Crime

Maguire’s fellow Goldman Sachs analyst has upgraded the securities from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’, and though the information was yet to come out in the public domain, internal emails disclosing that the research analyst covering those companies was upgrading his recommendation.

Maguire purchased the company stocks using an undisclosed account after the upgraded recommendations were finalized, but before the public research reports were published. 

Additionally, the regulator alleged that Maguire lied to the FINRA staff during the investigation about his history of trading in the undisclosed accounts and trading the securities of issuers that he and his business unit covered.

Though Maguire consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings, he neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

“Insider trading by securities industry professionals erodes the public trust in our capital markets,” said FINRA’s executive vice president and head of enforcement department head, Jessica Hopper.

“FINRA utilizes sophisticated surveillance tools to detect and remediate this type of misconduct. Ensuring market integrity is one of FINRA’s core missions and weeding out misconduct from within the industry will always be a priority for FINRA.”

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