David Miller, institutional trader was found guilty in the Apple Trading fraud. On October 25, 2012, the day Apple was scheduled to announce its earnings for the quarter, co-conspirator of David Miller wrote the order in such a way that Miller could later claim he misinterpreted it. Miller would then execute a trade for 1,000 times the number of shares written in the order. If the trade proved profitable, Miller and his co-conspirator would share in the profits. If the trade proved unprofitable, Miller would claim human error, leaving Rochdale holding the losing position.
A former Rochdale Securities trader, the 40-year-old David Miller entered a guilty plea in a Hartford, Connecticut court . In addition to the criminal proceedings, Miller also faces a related civil fraud lawsuit, filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On October 25, Miller bought 1.625 million Apple shares ahead of the company’s earnings report, hoping to profit if the stock price went up. Asked by his superiors about the purchase, Miller said that the trade was for a customer that had ordered only 1,625 shares.
Apple’s share prices dropped that day, though — despite the company’s profits being up 25 percent — and Miller and Rochdale were left down $5.3 million. Due to the unsuccessful bet, the suddenly undercapitalized firm ceased operations shortly thereafter, with its staff leaving or being let go in November 2012. In February, the firm asked that the state of Connecticut, the SEC, and other regulators withdraw its registrations.
Prosecutors contend that Miller also defrauded another brokerage when he induced it to sell 500,000 Apple shares, some of it reportedly in hopes of hedging against the Rochdale purchase.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation picked up Miller on wire fraud charges in December.