Ex-banker sentenced in NY insider trading case

NEW YORK (AP) — A former investment banker who admitted making trades based on inside information to cover child support was sentenced on Friday on securities fraud charges to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Frank Perkins Hixon Jr., 55, was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan by Judge Ronnie Abrams. In April, he pleaded guilty to insider-trading and false-statement charges.

Hixon was a senior executive at the Evercore Group investment banking firm between April 2010 and January, when authorities say he used the brokerage accounts of an ex-girlfriend to make illegal profits in lieu of formal child support payments. The ex-girlfriend lived in Austin, Texas, and is the mother of his youngest child.

The government said Hixon generated a $260,000 profit by trading on information he knew because he headed an Evercore team advising on a deal by a liquid storage company to sell off some assets.

Authorities say Hixon also used his father's brokerage account to generate $710,000 in profits. The father lived in Johns Creek, Georgia.

Evercore fired Hixon in January after investigating his trades.

Hixon, before being sentenced, told the judge that the fear of losing his relationship with his youngest daughter as his ex-girlfriend went through difficult times and frequently threatened to move elsewhere in the country was "all-consuming to me at the time" and led him to his crimes.

"It was truly really rooted in deep fear of losing something tremendously important and a fear that my daughter would lose me," he said.

His wife, Marguerite Lee, told the judge that she got over her shock, anger and grief when she learned that her husband had had a child with another woman to repair their relationship.

"The actions that have brought him here, that brought all of us here today, they are not who my husband is," she said. "He had no rational reason to do these things. ... They were high-risk. They were against the law. And he is not a law-breaking or risk-taking man."