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Former Goldman Sachs banker admits to insider trading

Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker Bryan Cohen pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme, Bloomberg News reported.

Cohen, who was arrested in October 2019, admitted to a U.S. magistrate judge in a hearing that he exchanged nonpublic information for cash in 2015, according to the report. He also confessed to tipping off a trader that another company had approached Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. for a takeover in 2017.

A complaint lodged with the SEC alleged that Cohen's insider tips led to $2.6 million in illicit gains, according to the report. Cohen will forfeit $260,000 and may face 30 to 37 months in prison, according to his plea agreement.

Cohen's lawyer said in a statement that the guilty plea will allow him to avoid trial, which was scheduled for Feb. 4, Bloomberg News reported.

Securities traders Georgios Nikas and Joseph El-Khouri, as well as London-based investment bankers Benjamin Taylor and Darina Windsor, have been charged for their alleged participation in the scheme.

Swiss trader Marc Demane-Debih also pleaded guilty and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, according to the report. Telemaque Lavidas, the son of an ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. director who allegedly passed on information about the company to Nikas, is now facing trial in New York.