Coincidence? Married Couples Accused in Insider Trading Cases

Talk about partners in crime.

In a bizarre turn of events, three married couples have been accused this week in separate insider trading cases. Although the cases involve different stocks and different circumstances, all involve couples allegedly using non-public information to trade in stocks. And in two of the cases, the wife allegedly passed inside information on to the husband.

In the latest case, U.S. prosecutors said Jennifer Wang and Rubin Chen of Englishtown, N.J, traded on nonpublic information Wang obtained from her former employer, Morgan Stanley. Chen is former analyst at ING Group.

Earlier on Thursday, two attorneys, Randi and Christopher Collatta, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud in what has been described as one of the biggest insider-trading operations since the 1980s. The $15 million scam reached into several of the nation's top financial firms.

Randi Collotta, 30, a former employee of Morgan Stanley in Manhattan, and her husband, Christopher Collotta, 34, who worked in private practice, were among 13 people criminally charged in the case. They were free on $250,000 bail each.

The government said the trading network relied on insiders at Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities to steal valuable secrets from the companies. It also alleged a Bank of America Securities broker accepted kickbacks and that two former representatives of Bear Stearns obtained inside information on UBS.

At the beginning of the week, a Hong Kong couple was accused of insider trading involving the stock of Dow Jones, which shot up last week on news that Rupert Murdoch had offered $60 a share for the publisher of the Wall Street Journal

Charlotte Ka On Wong Leung and her husband Kan King Wong were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of relying on inside information before buying Dow Jones shares.

Wong Leung is a former employee of both ABN Amro and Citibank.