Former broker pleads guilty to insider trading charges

Former broker Thomas Conradt pleaded guilty Wednesday to insider trading charges related to trades he made ahead of a $1.2 billion acquisition by International Business Machines Corp in 2009.

In court on Wednesday, Condradt, 35, said he used tips from a roommate to trade on shares of Chicago-based software company SPSS before IBM agreed to buy it on July 28, 2009, for $1.2 billion. He also passed those tips along to several colleagues at the Manhattan office of Euro Pacific Capital Inc, the brokerage he was working at.

Conradt pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud. He faces up to 45 years in prison, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter said at the hearing. Carter set October 3 as a tentative date for his sentencing.

"I am deeply apologetic ... for my actions," Conradt said, reading from a written statement. "I can assure the court that I will never put myself in this position again."

Catherine Redlich, Conradt's lawyer, declined to comment after the hearing.

David Weishaus, a co-defendant in the case, was also in court on Wednesday. Judge Carter adjourned his hearing until June 5 so that he and his lawyer could review evidence.

Weishaus was also employed at Euro Pacific Capital, which is based in Westport, Connecticut.

The case is U.S. v. Conradt et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-cr-00887.

(Reporting by Bernard Vaughan; editing by Andrew Hay)