Swiss Bank Denies Business Relations With Dennis Levine
ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Ellis AG, a Swiss brokerage house under investigation by U.S. authorities for alleged insider trading by some of its clients, on Thursday denied reports that it may have done business with Dennis Levine.
Levine, a former Wall Street investment banker, is the central figure in a federal investigation of insider trading in the U.S. stock markets. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged he made $12.6 million by illegally trading on inside information involving 54 takeover-related stocks between 1980 and 1985.
In its Sept. 8 edition, Business Week magazine quoted unidentified sources as saying that Levine and others may be linked to the SEC’s four-year-old investigation of Ellis. The report indicated Ellis may have had business connections with Levine through various intermediaries, possibly including Bank Leu International Ltd. of the Bahamas, with which Levine had extensive ties.
However, the magazine noted the SEC had made no formal allegations to that effect.
″Our firm doesn’t know Dennis Levine,″ said Claude Dreifuss, a manager of Ellis, when asked about the reports.
The Swiss government twice has approved SEC requests for information from Ellis about the activities of its clients.
The Ellis case is part of what has been described as one of the largest insider cases under investigation by the SEC, with estimates of illegal profit reaching $40 million.
Business Week said trading involved in the SEC probe occurred at least from 1981 to 1984 and could encompass dozens of investors. The magazine
Levine has pleaded guilty to four felony charges and is cooperating with the government’s investigation.