Cushman exec sued by SEC for fraud

Kal Bassily allegedly made millions on dubious trading fees at his former job

Apr.April 13, 2016 10:00 AM

UPDATED: April 13, 12:54 p.m.: The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Cushman & Wakefield’s Kal Bassily, accusing him of defrauding clients while at investor services firm ConvergEx Execution Solutions.

Bassily allegedly engineered a scheme to collect hidden “trading profits” on clients’ securities trades, instructing his fellow traders on how to do so too, and pocketing millions of dollars in bonuses as a reward.He worked at the Midtown-based ConvergEx from Oct. 2006 until he was fired in Sept. 2013. Three months later, the firm agreed to pay $150 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that it overcharged customers, Reuters reported.

“Mr. Bassily acted in good faith by following ConvergEx’s approved business model,” his lawyer Jim Benjamin said in a statement. “He will vigorously defend himself against these charges, and looks forward to his day in court.”

Bassily joined commercial brokerage Massey Knakal as a director of the Capital Services Division in 2014. Cushman paid about $100 million to acquire the firm later that year.

“The SEC’s allegations relate to the individual’s securities activities at a prior employer, do not involve Cushman & Wakefield, and are unrelated to the individual’s current employment at Cushman & Wakefield as a real estate broker,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement, adding that Cushman was studying the allegations.

The SEC is seeking to recoup profits and impose fines, along with other penalties. ConvergEx is not named in the U.S. District Court suit. [Reuters]Ariel Stulberg

A statement from Cushman & Wakefield was appended

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