Omar Tajyar, 32, of Porter Ranch, faces federal charges as one of five defendants charged with carrying out an illegal insider trading scheme based on non-public information used to prepare news releases for corporate clients, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
His cousin and co-defendant, Ahmad Haris Tajyar, 35, was a securities trader and owner and president of Sherman Oaks-based Investor Relations International.
Meanwhile, Ahmad "Zack" Noory, 37, the former owner of a Beverly Hills investor relations firm, was sentenced Monday to 20 months behind bars for his role in the scheme that generated about $400,000 in illegal profits.
Noory, of Ladera Ranch, pleaded guilty in December 2010 to one count of conspiring to commit insider trading.
Noory, the ex-owner of Nexus Investor Relations, was charged with the others in March 2010.
In imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter noted that insider trading is "a sophisticated financial crime that is extremely hard to detect" and that it is typically the most "wealthy and prominent individuals" who have access to such information and are able to profit from it.
Walter rejected Noory's claim that there was little or no harm from insider trading, responding that the crime is "a cloud on the integrity of the markets," and that "the field will never be level unless this kind of fraud is eliminated ..."
Walter concluded that Noory "fits the profile of the classic advantaged individual who was able to profit from making numerous insider trades."
According to prosecutors, co-defendant Ahmad Haris Tajyar, of Encino, paid $30,000 in cash bribes to co-defendant Zachary Bryant, former vice president of the Los Angeles office of the Lippert Heilshorn & Associates investor relations firm.
In exchange for those bribes, Bryant gave Ahmad Haris Tajyar information about upcoming news releases for Lippert Heilshorn's publicly traded clients before they had been announced, prosecutors allege.
Tajyar, in turn, gave inside information about the companies to Noory, co-defendant Omar Tajyar, and Vispi Shroff, 58, of Canyon Country, each of whom traded in advance of the news releases, according to the government.
Bryant and Shroff both pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and were sentenced to 16 months and nine months, respectively, in federal prison.
Criminal charges against Ahmad Haris Tajyar and Omar Tajyar are still pending in Los Angeles federal court.
-- The FBI and City News Service contributed to this report