- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say the owner of a stock trading operation and three other men were involved in a multiyear insider trading scheme that netted more than $3.2 million in illicit profits,

The four men arrested Wednesday in California, Florida and New Jersey are accused of using information that was not publicly available to buy and sell stocks traded on both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ from 2010 to 2012.

Steven Fishoff, a 58-year-old Westlake Village, California resident who operated the trading entity Featherwood Capital out of his home, was charged with four counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The three other defendants - 54-year-old Steven Costantin of Farmingdale, New Jersey, who is Fishoff’s brother-in-law; Ronald Chernin, a 66-year-old disbarred lawyer from Oak Park, California, and 53-year-old Paul Petrello, of Boca Raton, Florida - also face conspiracy and securities fraud charges.

All four were due to make court appearances in their respective states on Wednesday. It was not known if any of them had retained attorneys.

Each man faces several years in prison if convicted.

“The defendants and their associates were entrusted with confidential, nonpublic information about companies, and, time and time again, they allegedly violated that trust by illegally trading the companies’ stock for substantial profits,” said Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. “They allegedly rigged the game so they would always win, and their profits came at the expense of legitimate investors, who were not privy to this inside information.”

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