Tuesday , August 20, 2019

Carr Settles SEC Insider-Trading Lawsuit for $251,000

Former Heartland Payment Systems Inc. chief executive Robert O. Carr has agreed to pay a $250,628 civil penalty to settle an insider-trading complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to court documents filed this week.

Carr did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations, according to filings in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Conn. The SEC last July claimed he informed his long-time girlfriend, Katherine M. Hanratty, that merchant acquirer Global Payments Inc. planned to acquire Heartland before that information became public in December 2015. Hanratty, whom the SEC also named as a defendant, then allegedly used funds Carr gave her to acquire Heartland stock before its price rose on the merger news, and later sold the shares for a nearly $251,000 profit.

The settlement must be approved by Stefan R. Underhill, chief judge of the Connecticut federal court. The new filings show the SEC might move for a court order to ban Carr from serving as an officer or director of a publicly traded company. Carr currently is founder and chief executive of payments provider Beyond.

Hanratty, who also did not admit or deny the allegations, settled with the SEC last October by agreeing to repay $250,628 from the stock sale plus $27,352 in interest, and to pay a civil penalty of $250,628.

Carr declined comment Friday morning. Heartland, now owned by Atlanta-based Global Payments, first sued Carr last May over Hanratty’s stock trade. That case is still pending in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

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