A Chicago-based consultant on Thursday pleaded guilty to trading on confidential information about private-equity firm Carlyle Group's planned acquisition of vitamin company NBTY Inc.
The consultant, Sherif Mityas, had learned of the acquisition while working as an advisor to Carlyle on the deal, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Mityas also agreed to resolve parallel civil charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and pay $78,000 in sanctions for purchasing NBTY stock and allegedly tipping off a relative ahead of Carlyle's acquisition.
He and the relative later made a $38,000 profit, the SEC said, but did not name or charge the relative.
The government did not identify Mityas' employer, but said he worked for a global management consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, and that he was in the firm's consumer products and retail practice.
There is a LinkedIn profile for a Sherif Mityas, listing him as a partner at consulting firm A.T. Kearney in the Greater Chicago area.
Representatives of A.T. Kearney and Carlyle Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Mityas also did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the criminal information filed against Mityas, Carlyle had hired Mityas and others in May 2010 to advise the firm on a planned acquisition of NBTY.
The same month, Mityas purchased 1,300 shares of the company at $34 per share.
In July, after NBTY announced that Carlyle agreed to acquire the company for $55 per share, the company's shares shot up from $37.47 to $53 per share.
The next day Mityas sold the stock and earned a $25,000 profit, the government said.
Mityas was entrusted with highly confidential information, Sanjay Wadhwa, deputy chief of the SEC's market abuse unit, said in a press release announcing the charges.
Driven by greed, he violated that trust and jeopardized a successful consulting career for the chance to make a quick buck, Wadhwa said.
(Reporting By Sarah N. Lynch and Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Maureen Bavdek, Phil Berlowitz)