NASD Charges Two Minneapolis Brokers with Insider Trading; Settles with Three Others
Michael Shokouhi 202-728-8304
Washington, D.C. — NASD today announced that it issued a complaint charging two Minneapolis, MN brokers with insider trading. Thomas D. Krosschell and Joseph A. Geraci II have been charged with buying the common stock of Minnesota American, Inc. (OTCBB: MNAC) while in possession of inside information about a potential reverse merger between MNAC and Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services, Inc., an Iowa-based brokerage firm. At the time, Krosschell and Geraci were working at now defunct Maven Securities, which had been retained by MNAC as the company's investment bankers.
In a related action, NASD announced that it has settled insider trading charges with three other former employees of Maven Securities; Daniel J. Shrader, the president of the firm; Troy W. Johnson, a broker; and Michael E. Cain, a sales assistant, for purchasing MNAC stock while in possession of material inside information about the company.
In the complaint, NASD alleges that Krosschell and Shrader presented the idea of a reverse merger to MNAC and Berthel Fisher. As they were negotiating details of the potential merger, Krosschell and Shrader purchased more than 100,000 shares of MNAC stock. The complaint further alleges that they tipped approximately 20 others to purchase the stock including all of the firm's brokers. Shortly after news of the planned merger was announced, Krosschell and Shrader began to sell the stock, generating realized profits of approximately $90,000. The proposed merger fell through, and MNAC later merged with CorVu Corporation (OTCBB: CRVU).
According to the complaint, Krosschell and Geraci violated federal securities laws and NASD rules by purchasing MNAC stock while in possession of inside information about the company's potential reverse merger with Berthel Fisher. In settling the matter, Shrader and Johnson each consented to a permanent bar from association with any NASD member, while Cain consented to a one-year suspension.
Under NASD rules, the individuals named in the complaint may file a response and request a hearing before a disciplinary panel. Possible sanctions include a fine, disgorgement, suspension or bar from NASD.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to bringing integrity to the markets and confidence to investors through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business -- from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and member firms. For more information please visit www.nasd.com.