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Insider Trading

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August 11, 2015

The SEC announced fraud charges against 32 defendants for taking part in a scheme to hack into newswire services, steal corporate earnings announcements before they were publicly released, and trade on this information.  The SEC’s complaint alleges that defendants generated more than $100 million in illegal profits through the scheme over a five year period.  SEC

July 16, 2015

The SEC charged Pennsylvania real estate attorney, Herbert Sudfeld, with insider trading in the stock of Harleysville Group, Inc. in advance of the 2011 announcement of a $760 million merger of Harleysville and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.  According to the complaint, Sudfeld illegally traded on the news that sent Harleysville’s stock price up 87%.  SEC

July 13, 2015

The SEC announced a settlement with Frank Tamayo, a Brooklyn man who cooperated with the SEC’s investigation of an insider trading scheme.  Tamayo served as the intermediary between a law firm clerk and stockbroker.  The clerk would give Tamayo non-public information about the pending corporate transactions of his law firm’s clients and Tamayo would pass this on post-its or napkins to the stockbroker who would trade on this information for Tamayo, himself, and others.  The SEC previously brought charges against the clerk and the broker.  Under the terms of Tamayo’s settlement, he agreed to disgorge $1 million in ill-gotten gains, but this is deemed satisfied by orders of forfeiture or restitution from a parallel criminal case in which he pled guilty.  SEC

June 9, 2015

The SEC charged three men living in California with insider trading in the stock and options of a biotechnology company where one of them worked.  Specifically, the SEC alleges Michael J. Fefferman learned material nonpublic information as senior director of information technology at Ardea Biosciences Inc. and tipped off his brother-in-law in advance of major public announcements related to two pharmaceutical trials, a licensing agreement for a cancer drug, and eventually the acquisition of the company by AstraZeneca PLC.  SEC

June 3, 2015

The SEC announced insider trading charges against four individuals stealing confidential information from investment banks and their public company clients in order to trade in advance of secondary stock offerings.  SEC

May 14, 2015

The SEC charged Sean R. Stewart, a managing director at a prominent investment bank, with routinely tipping off his father Robert K. Stewart with confidential information about future mergers and acquisitions involving clients of two investment banks where he has worked during the past few years. The elder Stewart, a certified public accountant and CFO of a technology company, cashed in on the tips by placing and directing highly profitable securities trades ahead of at least a half-dozen merger and acquisition announcements. The scheme generated approximately $1.1 million in illicit proceeds in a four-year period. SEC

April 2, 2015

The SEC charged two longtime friends, Amit Kanodia and Iftikar Ahmed, with insider trading on news of a proposed acquisition of Cooper Tire and Rubber Company by Apollo Tyres Ltd.  The SEC also named Rakitfi Holdings LLC, a company owned by Ahmed, and Lincoln Charitable Foundation, a supposed charity operated by Kanodia, as relief defendants.  SEC

February 19, 2015

The SEC announced insider trading charges against Scott Zeringue, alleging that while serving as vice president of construction operations at Baton Rouge-based The Shaw Group he traded company securities based on confidential information he learned on the job about an impending acquisition by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company.  SEC

February 11, 2015

The SEC charged Charles L. Hill Jr. with insider trading.  Specifically, the government alleges Hill made approximately $740,000 in illicit profits by trading in Radiant Systems stock on the basis of confidential inside information he received from a friend about an impending tender offer by NCR Corporation to buy the company.  SEC

February 5, 2015

The SEC charged a stock research analyst, a corporate insider, and two others involved in a California-based insider trading ring that generated nearly $750,000 in illegal profits by trading in advance of four corporate news announcements.  According to the government, John Gray, then an analyst at Barclays Capital, and his friend Christian Keller traded on confidential merger information that Keller learned while working in finance at two Silicon Valley-based public companies Applied Materials Inc. and Rovi Corporation.  Gray, Keller and their accomplices agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying more than $1.6M combined.  SEC
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