Swiss say U.S. not in touch over Heinz insider trading case
February 19, 2013 11:14 AM EST
Swiss authorities said on Monday they have not yet been asked to help a U.S. investigation into alleged insider trading in call options of H.J. Heinz Co
U.S. securities regulators filed suit on Friday against as-yet-unidentified traders in Heinz options alleging they traded on inside information before the company made public the deal to be bought for $23 billion (14.8 billion pounds) by an investor group made up of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement on Friday it had obtained "an emergency court order to freeze assets in a Zurich, Switzerland-based trading account that was used to reap more than $1.7 million from trading in advance of yesterday's public announcement about the acquisition of H.J. Heinz Company."
SEC spokesman John Nester said on Monday that the assets concerned had been frozen in the United States, not Switzerland, though the "beneficial owners" were those allegedly behind the Swiss account. He did not respond immediately when asked if the U.S. authorities were in contact with their Swiss counterparts.
With the assets frozen, the SEC would have had no immediate need for Swiss assistance in the case, although it eventually may need help to identify the account holders.
Rainer Borer, a spokesman for the Swiss financial markets watchdog known as FINMA, said a U.S. court cannot by itself freeze assets in an account of a bank operating in Switzerland.
"For that, it has to ask for legal or administrative assistance," he told Reuters. "Up to now, FINMA has not received a U.S. request for administrative assistance in the mentioned case of potential insider trading."
Justice ministry spokesman Folco Galli said the ministry had not received an official request for legal assistance either.
"Either a request for administrative or legal assistance would be necessary because a U.S. court cannot enforce a coercive measure in Switzerland," he said.
U.S. bank Goldman Sachs
Heinz had no comment, Michael Mullen, a company spokesman, said by email. Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital likewise declined to comment, said Gemma Hart, a spokeswoman for the investor group.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Additional reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto in Zurich and Jim Wolf in Washington; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
- Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant Among The Top 5 Overpaid Players In The NBA (Part 1 - Western Conference)
- Reasons Why Michael Jordan Is Better Than LeBron James [PHOTOS And VIDEO]
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- 2 Reasons Nexus 6 Release Date is Worth the Wait: Android L Data Encryption & Material Design
- Google Release Roundup: New Nexus 6, Nexus 8, Android 5.0 L Launch and Killer Features
- Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide
- Samsung SM-A500 (aka Wallet-Friendly Galaxy Alpha) Clears TENAA Revealing Images And Specs
- Canada Consumer Alert: Costco No Longer Accepting American Express Cards Starting Jan 1
- Amazon Announces Kindle Fire HD 6, Kindle Fire HD 7 Tablets; Official Release Date Is Oct 2
- Scotland Voted Against Independence, Early Results Indicate