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Silicon Valley friend charged with insider trading ring

Authorities charged a group of six friends in Silicon Valley with insider trading on Tuesday, claiming they shared tips on illegal stocks and traded information to earn about $ 1.7 million.

The Federal Attorney’s Office in San Francisco has charged three individuals in the Federal Criminal Court, including Nathaniel A. Brown, a former senior revenue manager at computer networking company Infinira. Co., Ltd.

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According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Brown allegedly provided information to his friend Benjamin Wyram about Infinera’s private quarterly financial results from April 2016 to November 2017, revealing the scheme and six people. Defendant separately claimed to have committed civil fraud.

According to the SEC, Willam was a high school teacher in Santa Clara, California, and worked as a bookmaker. According to the SEC, he used WhatsApp, an encrypted text messaging application, to contact Mr Brown about the stock. According to a SEC lawsuit, Mr. Wylam wrote on an Internet bulletin board that “insider trading is part of my investment strategy,” making more than $ 1 million in illegal profits.

According to court records, Mr. Wylam agreed to plead guilty to criminal securities fraud. He also settled the SEC’s civil proceedings and agreed to pay a fine set later by the court. Authorities said Mr Brown had filed a proceeding with the SEC, but did not provide further information.

Other individuals were involved in the chipchain, officials said. According to the SEC, Mr Willam gave Navin Sud an illegal scoop on Infinera, who owed him more than $ 100,000 in gambling debt. Later, Sood shared information with three other friends, Naresh Ramaiya, Marcus Bannon, and Matthew Rauch. These friends were also trading important private information, according to the SEC.

According to court records, 49-year-old Sood pleaded guilty to one criminal securities fraud. According to judicial transactions, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000, or twice the profits of illegal transactions, whichever is greater.

The SEC said it used advanced data analysis to discover suspicious trading rings. Regulators have recently developed data mining tools. This allows you to look for evidence that a group of traders are trading at suspicious times.

The alleged scheme also included illegal trading of shares in another company, cybersecurity vendor Fortinet. Co., Ltd.

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Bannon was in business at Fortinet and told Sud in October 2016 about the negative announcements his employer would make in the coming days, officials said. Sood used this information to purchase an option that would be rewarded if Fortinet’s share price fell and shared the hint with Wylam and Ramaiya alleged in the SEC proceedings.

Bannon and Rauff’s lawyers declined to comment. Infinella and Fortinet spokespersons and other defendants’ lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the SEC, Bannon and Rauff were college roommates in the 1990s and were friends with Sud. Mr Bannon exercised his fifth amendment to his self-incrimination when the SEC summoned him for testimony, officials said in a proceeding.

According to court records, Bannon, Rauf, and Lamayer have agreed to resolve the SEC’s claim and pay a total fine of $ 476,000. They are not facing criminal accusations.

Mr Brown, 49, was charged based on documents commonly used by prosecutors when the defendant was ready to plead guilty. He faces the same maximum statutory penalties as Mr. Sood. According to the prosecution, he will be prosecuted on June 16.

Write to Dave Michaels (dave.michaels@wsj.com)

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Silicon Valley friend charged with insider trading ring

Source link Silicon Valley friend charged with insider trading ring

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