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Society

Georgios Nikas Trying to Protect Assets and Avoid Arrest

December 12, 2019

NEW YORK – Georgios Nikas, 54, a Greek trader and restaurant owner “charged in New York with making millions of dollars as part of an insider-trading ring is trying to protect his assets in the U.S. without risking arrest,” Bloomberg reported, adding that Nikas “was charged in October with trading shares of at least a dozen companies on illegal tips he got from other members of the ring.”

According to prosecutors, Nikas “owns a $6 million New York apartment and a chain of Greek restaurants, GRK Fresh Greek,” Bloomberg reported.

On December 10, Nikas’ lawyer “asked a judge to dismiss claims against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has frozen his assets,” Bloomberg reported, adding that “the SEC is suing over $2.6 million he allegedly made using illicit tips he got from Bryan Cohen, a Goldman Sachs banker who has pleaded not guilty… But Nikas isn’t responding to criminal charges filed by U.S. prosecutors who say he’s a fugitive from justice.”

Henry Klingeman, Nikas’ lawyer, described his client in the court filing on December 10 as “a Greek citizen residing in Greece,” Bloomberg reported.

In a letter last month, prosecutors said that “Nikas is aware of the charges” and “plans to remain a fugitive in Greece rather than submit to the jurisdiction of the court,” Bloomberg reported.

“Klingeman argued that the SEC failed to properly serve Nikas with the complaint, though the agency did email it to him, and he said that Nikas didn’t engage in insider trading,” Bloomberg reported, adding that “U.S. law may force Nikas to choose between his stuff and his freedom.”

The “fugitive disentitlement” provision “permits a judge to bar someone who evades U.S. jurisdiction from using the courts to defend their assets in a related civil proceeding,” Bloomberg reported, adding that “Klingeman declined to comment.”

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