Ex-Ernst Partner, Banker Accused of Insider Trades

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former partner at Ernst & Young LLP ERNY.UL and an investment banker were accused of insider trading related to a string of deals, including the 2006 buyout of Freescale Semiconductor led by Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), federal prosecutors and the FBI said on Thursday.

James Gansman, 48, who worked at E&Y in New York, was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy in an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Donna Murdoch, 44, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, who worked as an investment banker at an unnamed firm, was also charged with securities fraud and conspiracy.

Gansman passed on inside tips to Murdoch about pending transactions involving E&Y clients, and Murdoch used the tips to generate more than $390,000 in trading profits, according to the indictment.

The defendants' attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges against Gansman and Murdoch, along with charges against Murdoch's father, who it said also traded on the tips.

(Reporting by Martha Graybow; editing by John Wallace)