The Securities and Exchange Commission last week accused six people of profiting from an insider trading scheme involving the acquisition of Neff Rentals by Odyssey Investment Partners LLP in 2005.
The SEC accused Overland Park, Kan., lawyer Kevan Acord and Philip Growney, a Kansas City accountant who works at Acord’s law office, and four Miami residents: attorney Thomas Borell, Dr. Sebastian de la Maza, and Alberto and Jose Perez of taking advantage of advance information about the transaction to buy and sell shares.
The SEC said Acord and Growney, who handle Neff’s tax returns and other legal matters, acted on an inside tip about the company’s acquisition to make first-time purchases of the company’s shares. The complaint said Acord exchanged Neff shares after the acquisition for a profit of $7,719 and made $146,572 on behalf of an unnamed client. Growney, the SEC said, bought Neff shares shortly before the acquisition and then sold it for a profit of about $13,000.
Thomas Bradshaw, an attorney representing Acord and Growney, told the Kansas City Business Journal that both men traded the stocks based on their own independent analysis and had no advance knowledge of the transaction.
The SEC accused Borell of obtaining information through his close friendship with a Neff director, who was the brother of Neff’s chief executive. Borell allegedly acquired more than $1.3 million in Neff stock during the six weeks before the acquisition announcement and later sold it for a profit of nearly $1 million.
The SEC accusation claims Maza made a profit of $84,000, and the Perez brothers made nearly $400,000.