Sanjay Valvani, 44, was lying facedown on the bedroom floor of his Sidney Place home in Brooklyn Heights when his wife discovered him at about 6 p.m. Monday, according to authorities.
He died of an apparent slash wound to the neck, sources said, adding cops found a knife next to the body along with a suicide note.
“We mourn the tragic loss of Sanjay, a devoted father, husband, and friend,” Jacob Gottlieb, the founder of Visium Asset Management, where Valvani worked, said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
On June 15, Valvani was hit with federal insider-trading charges after he was accused of getting advance word about U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals of generic drugs and using the information to make profitable trades.
He earned about $25 million on the secret information — and passed on the info to another portfolio manager who made his own illegal trades, authorities said.
Valvani’s lawyer, Barry Berke, accused the U.S. attorney’s office prosecuting the case of “stretching the facts and law to try to transform entirely innocent trading decisions into a crime.”
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan accused Sanjay Valvani of Visium Asset Management LP of fraudulently making $25 million by gaining advance word about U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals of generic drug applications.
Prosecutors said the inside information was provided by Gordon Johnston, a consultant who got tips from a friend and former FDA colleague still working at the agency.
Valvani passed some of these tips to Christopher Plaford, then a Visium portfolio manager, who made his own illegal trades, prosecutors said.
“Sadly these are schemes we see time and time again, where lies and use of non-public information profits those conducting the crimes, and everyday investors lose out,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez said in a statement.
Prosecutors also accused Plaford and Stefan Lumiere, another former Visium portfolio manager, of fraudulently inflating the value and liquidity of a bond fund they oversaw by getting “sham” price quotations from brokers, in an effort to prevent investors from demanding their money back.
Visium Asset Management had put Valvani on extended leave after learning he was being investigated, officials said.