Family Law

Decade-long visitation battle rages on between alleged insider trader and whistle-blowing ex-wife


More than 10 years and 600 court motions later, David Zilkha and his ex-wife, Karen Kaiser, are still fighting over the visitation plan for their two children, a set of twins now 12 years old.

The divorce was filed in 2003, and granted in 2005. Zilkha, a former investment advisor, told the Associated Press that he hasn’t seen his children in four years. Kaiser maintains that Zilkha can see the children under supervised visitation, and has refused to do so. Zilkha says that Kaiser refused to schedule “unification therapy” for Zilkha and the children. A British citizen who now lives in London, Zilkha also claims that the conditions of the supervised visitation cost more than $5,000 per visit. Kaiser and her lawyer declined to discuss the case with the AP.

The piece notes that child visitation isn’t the only issue to cause strife with the former couple. In 2009, Kaiser gave the Securities and Exchange Commission emails she’d taken from Zilkha’s home computer. The SEC alleged that Zilkha, a former Microsoft employee who later joined Pequot Capital Management, provided insider information about Microsoft to Pequot, which resulted in the company making more than $14 million in Microsoft trades. Company founders agreed to settle the insider trading charges for $28 million, according to the AP, and the SEC also got a $250,000 judgement against Zilkha.

Kaiser and her current husband were awarded $1 million by the SEC, which according to the Washington Post was the largest award paid for information on an insider-trading case.

“There are some cases that for whatever reason…sort of spin out of control,” Stamford Superior Court Judge Michal Shay said at a hearing for the case last year. “It seems impossible, it seems intractable, sometimes, to pull them back and try to get them on the right track, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”

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