On Friday, September 29, 2017, nine defendants were indicted on fraud charges for allegedly being involved in an insider trading conspiracy. Four of the men are from the Chicago area. The indictment claims that Shane Fleming, who served as the vice president of corporate sales with the Minnesota based Life Time Fitness Inc., obtained non-public information about the company being acquired by two private equity firms in 2015.
Fleming soon learned that the sale would most likely lead to an increase in the company’s stock price. He decided to share the inside information with longtime friend, Bret Beshey. The duo agreed to utilize the information to execute financial trades and share the profits according to the indictment.
It is alleged that Beshey went on to share the information with his girlfriend, Chasity Clark, his friend, Peter Kourtis, and Clark’s friend, Christopher Bonvissuto. Bonvissuto and Kourtis agreed to purchase Life Time Fitness stock options using the inside information and share the proceeds with Clark and Beshey. It is alleged that Kourtis shared the information with other friends, including Alex Carlucci, Dimitri Kandalepas, Austin Mansur, and Eric Weller.
The indictment alleges that all of these men agreed to make trades using the inside information. The securities were purchased before the news of the possible sale went public. In total, the defendants allegedly earned $866,629 in illegal profits from the trades. The indictment against the nine defendants was returned on September 28, 2017. All nine are charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Arraignment dates have not yet been set.
The defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.