Bail for inside trader suspect

Trent Martin.  Photo / Supplied
Trent Martin. Photo / Supplied

A New York judge has agreed to release Australian financial analyst and accused inside trader Trent Martin from jail, ending three months behind bars in Hong Kong and Brooklyn.

Martin, 34, a financial whiz from Sydney's northern beaches, was extradited under guard by US Marshals from Hong Kong to New York to appear in a Manhattan court.

Martin entered not guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud.

Judge Henry Pitman set bail at US$250,000 ($298,000).

US prosecutors alleged Martin was a key figure in an insider-trading scandal involving computing giant IBM's secret US$1.2 billion takeover of software company SPSS in 2009.

Martin's lawyer Larry Krantz complained last week that while Martin had consented to being extradited to the US just days after his Hong Kong arrest on December 23, he had spent months suffering "bizarre and cruel" treatment in abysmal jail conditions in Hong Kong.

It is alleged Martin, while living in New York and working for a Connecticut-based firm in 2009, took confidential information from a New Zealand banker friend who was working on the IBM-SPSS deal, and bought call option contracts ahead of the public announcement of the takeover.

When IBM announced its acquisition of SPSS on July 28, 2009, the share price of SPSS common stock rose by 41 per cent in one day to US$49.45 a share. AAP

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