NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - A former partner at a major law firm was convicted on Wednesday of insider trading charges for having tipped a Long Island, New York investment adviser about Pfizer Inc’s plan to buy King Pharmaceuticals Inc in 2010.
Robert Schulman, who worked at the time at Hunton & Williams in Washington, D.C., was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy jurors in Brooklyn federal court after about 4-1/2 hours of deliberations.
Prosecutors said Schulman, who had represented King in patent litigation since 2009, tipped his friend Tibor Klein, the owner of Valley Stream-based Klein Financial Services, about the $3.6 billion Pfizer takeover in advance.
Klein then allegedly bought King securities for himself, Schulman and clients, and passed the tip to his friend Michael Shechtman, a Florida stockbroker, resulting in more than $400,000 of overall illegal profit, prosecutors have said.
A lawyer for Schulman was not immediately available for comment.
Schulman, of McLean, Virginia, was a partner at the law firm Arent Fox in Washington, D.C. at the time of his arrest last August, and was later put on leave.
“Robert Schulman is no longer a member of this firm,” an Arent Fox spokesman said on Wednesday after the conviction. “Arent Fox is committed to exceeding the industry standards for ethical and professional conduct.”
Klein, of Melville, New York, was arrested with Schulman, and faces a Sept. 18 trial.
Shechtman, a former Ameriprise Financial Inc stockbroker, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn in November 2014 to a conspiracy charge, and has cooperated with prosecutors. He has not been sentenced.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a related civil lawsuit in September 2013 against Klein and Shechtman in the federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida. That case was later put on hold until the criminal case was resolved.
Though the SEC did not sue Schulman, it alleged that he became intoxicated on several glasses of wine while dining at home with his wife and Klein in August 2010, and blurted out, “It would be nice to be King for a day.”
Klein took the hint and bought 60,600 King shares, including 800 for himself and 3,000 for Schulman, on the next trading day, the SEC said. (Reporting By Brendan Pierson and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)