David Miller, the securities trader that made headlines with an unauthorized purchase of $1 billion in Apple stock, plead guilty on Monday to wire fraud and conspiracy.
A former Rochdale Securities trader, the 40-year-old Miller entered a guilty plea in a Hartford, Connecticut court, reports Reuters. In addition to the criminal proceedings, Miller also faces a related civil fraud lawsuit, filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
On October 25th, Miller purchased 1.625 million shares of Apple just ahead of the company’s earnings report. He hoped to profit if the stock price went up. Miller told his bosses that the trade was for a customer who had ordered only 1,625 shares.
Despite the company’s profits being up 25%, Apple’s share price dropped, and Miller and Rochdale were left down $5.3 million. The suddenly undercapitalized firm ceased operations soon after, with its staff either quitting or being laid off in November 2012. In February of this year, the firm asked the state of Connecticut, the SEC, and other regulators to withdraw its registrations.
“What happened here was out of character for a kind and generous family man who has lived an otherwise law-abiding and good life,” Miller’s lawyer Kenneth Murphy said. “He deeply regrets what he has done and the harm it has caused to other people, including the former principals and employees at Rochdale.”
Prosecutors say that Miller also defrauded another brokerage that he induced to sell 500,000 Apple shares, some of it in the hopes of hedging against the Rochdale purchase.
Miller faces a maximum of 25 years in prison, but could get between five and eight years due to a plea bargain. He will be sentenced on July 8th.