Matthew Kluger, a former law firm associate convicted in a 17-year, multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme, was disbarred today in the District of Columbia.
Kluger is serving 12 years in jail after pleading guilty to passing along nonpublic information about business deals he gleaned from his job at some of the nation’s biggest law firms. Kluger, disbarred in New York in January, didn’t contest his disbarment in Washington.
The D.C. Court of Appeals based its decision to disbar Kluger on his conviction for obstruction of justice, finding it was a “crime of moral turpitude” that required immediate disbarment. Kluger also pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges.
In obstructing justice, “the offender knowingly or intentionally disregards the system of law and due process that defines our civilized society,” the court said, quoting from a previous opinion.
Kluger began feeding nonpublic information to traders as a law student, when he worked as a summer associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, according to court records. The scheme continued when he became a full-time associate at the firm and as he worked at some of the largest firms in the country, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, and, in the years leading up to his arrest, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.
Kluger pleaded guilty to the scheme, but appealed his sentence as excessive. In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected his arguments, finding the sentence reasonable given Kluger’s status as essentially a “career criminal.”
“[I]t is really quite remarkable that Kluger could not even wait to graduate from law school before using his employment at a law firm to initiate his illegal activities and it is equally remarkable that during most of his legal career he was involved in criminal activity,” Judge Morton Greenberg wrote.