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Sat, Mar 31, 2001 EST
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Government: Traders Received Cash and
Gifts in Exchange Steering Business

By Larry Neumeister   Associated Press
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NEW YORK — Two New York Life Insurance Co. employees accepted more than $485,000 in secret cash kickbacks to cheat their company out of the best prices for securities trades, prosecutors alleged in criminal indictments unsealed Thursday.

One of the men — Anthony Dong-Yin Shen — pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan Thursday in a plea deal that may require him to testify against others about the scheme that lasted from 1997 to 1999.

"I sincerely regret my actions," he told U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. "I understand that what I was doing was wrong and illegal."

Shen, 26, of Manhattan and Srinivas Anumolu, 37, of Sunnyvale, Calif., were accused in the indictment and in a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission of accepting $465,000 in cash and $18,500 in gifts to cheat their company out of the best prices for securities trades.

Shen was a senior associate and Anumolu was a portfolio manager at New York Life.

According to court papers, Shen received $6,400 in tickets to the 1998 NBA All-Star game, a DVD player, a $14,000 trip to the Bahamas and "adult entertainment" among his kickbacks.

Anumolu made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., where he was told to retain his own lawyer because his assets made him ineligible for the court to appoint a lawyer at the public's expense.

Magistrate Judge Patricia Trumbull ordered Anumolu, who is not a U.S. citizen, held pending a detention hearing Tuesday.

A message for comment left at Anumolu's residence was not immediately returned.

Also charged with securities fraud in the case were Ronald W. Pinto, formerly of Nomura Securities International in New York, and Deborah Breckenridge, formerly of Suncoast Capital Group in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Lawyers for both did not immediately return telephone messages for comment.

Pinto, 41, of Demarest, N.J., and Breckenridge, 45, of Old Town, Fla., both sales people, were accused of paying Shen and Anumolu the bribes to funnel business their way so that they could earn large commissions.

Pinto, who allegedly made $3 million in commissions from trades with New York Life, and Breckenridge, who allegedly made $700,000 for her trades, were expected surrender for court appearances next week.

If convicted, Pinto, Breckenridge and Anumolu could face up to 10 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Shen could face up to five years in prison when he is sentenced at a date to be set later.

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