SEC charges ex-Goldman Sachs trader using ETF trades

A former Goldman Sachs trader and his father have been charged by securities regulators with insider trading for allegedly profiting after learning confidential information about the bank’s trading strategy around an exchange traded fund, according to the Financial Times.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission, in a civil action, alleged the former Goldman trader, Spencer Mindlin, tipped off his father, Alfred Mindlin, an accountant, about Goldman’s hedging trades pegged to an ETF, which mirrors a basket of securities. By trading ahead of Goldman’s actions in late 2007 and early 2008, the SEC alleges, the father-son duo made £37,000 in illicit profits. Spencer Mindlin left the company in August 2009.

A lawyer for the two men, Robert Knuts denied that inside information was used to make trades.

The SEC said it was the first insider trading case it had brought involving ETFs.

According to the SEC, the insider trading occurred during the re-balancing of the index underlying the SPDR S&P Retail ETF, which mirrors a basket of automotive, apparel and bargain retail stocks in an S&P index.