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Former Law Firm Clerk Cops to Insider Trading

TRENTON, N.J. (CN) - A former managing clerk for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett pleaded guilty to stealing confidential information from the law firm and using it to propagate an insider-trading scheme that netted more than $5.6 million.

Simpson Thacher is regarded as one of the world's largest mergers-and-acquisitions law firms. Though Steven Metro had no direct involvement in M&A deals as a managing clerk, he had access to the firm's internal computer system.

Metro, 41, of Katonah, N.Y., admitted in court Thursday that he scoured Simpson Thacher's internal computer system between 2009 and 2013 to get information on clients.

In at least 13 cases, the Westchester County man he used keyword like "merger agreement" and "due diligence" to locate upcoming mergers, according to the indictment. He then combed through documents to verify deals that were near completion.

Among the deals on which Metro obtained inside information was the multimillion-dollar investment by Liberty Media in Sirius XM Holdings. The 2009 move helped the satellite-radio company avoid bankruptcy.

Metro also found out in advance about Tyco International's acquisition of Broadview Security in 2011.

Rather than play the stock market with the information himself, prosecutors said Metro shared tips with his friend Frank Tamayo, of Brooklyn.

The information went through yet another player before cash rolled in.

Prosecutors say Tamayo brought a napkin with the ticker symbol of the company whose confidential records indicated was due for an upswing to places in Midtown Manhattan such as Grand Central Terminal's large clock.

There, Tamayo would hand over the napkin to former Oppenheimer & Co. stockbroker Vladimir Eydelman who would chew up the napkin after reading it.

With Eydelman later buying up shares of the company before a merger was announced, the trio managed to clear $5.6 million in profits, regulators say.

Metro admitted to reaping $168,000 for his role in the scheme.

Tamayo and Eydelman have already pleaded guilty for their involvement.

Metro faces 20 years in prison and a more than $5 million in fines. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 17, 2016.

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