UPDATE 1-U.S. regulator bars ex-Goldman Sachs analyst for insider trading

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NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. regulator barred a former Goldman Sachs & Co research analyst from the brokerage industry for insider trading in two companies that the company was about to upgrade, and for lying about his trading.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said Brian Maguire bought $850,000 worth of shares in two companies last April and June after receiving internal emails that a fellow analyst would soon raise the companies’ ratings to “buy” from “neutral.”

FINRA said the pending upgrades were material nonpublic information, and that shares of both companies rose after the information became public.

It also said Maguire falsely testified to its staff about some of his earlier trading and violated its conflict-of-interest rules, including by trading securities of companies he covered and selling securities he rated “buy.”

Maguire did not admit or deny the charges, but consented to the FINRA bar.

His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Goldman was not accused of wrongdoing.

Maguire had worked for Goldman in Houston, covering paper, packaging and environmental services companies.

He spent a decade at the Wall Street bank before it terminated him in October, citing concerns about his trading and use of confidential information.

According to his LinkedIn entry, Maguire has degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Virginia’s business school.

FINRA recently regulated more than 3,500 securities firms. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)