SEC charges six with insider trading on employers’ financial info

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The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday announced insider trading charges against six California men who allegedly used nonpublic financial information to generate roughly $1.7 million.

The SEC alleged that the group traded the stocks of two technology companies that employed two of the men involved in the ring based on confidential earnings information they obtained through their jobs. 

Publicly traded companies are legally required to follow strict protocols for releasing information that could affect the value of their stock. Doing so is meant to make sure all market participants can act on the same available information and to prevent well connected investors from having an unfair advantage.

The SEC alleged that Nathaniel Brown, a former revenue manager at Infinera Corporation, routinely gave his friend Benjamin Wylam private information about the company’s financial status between April 2016 and November 2017. Wylam then allegedly tipped off Naveen Sood on the information, who then allegedly passed it along to three other friends: Marcus Bannon, Matthew Rauch and Naresh Ramaiya, all of whom traded on the information.

The SEC also alleged that Bannon shared nonpublic information about his employer, Fortinet Inc., with Sood, who allegedly tipped off Wylam and Ramaiya, all of whom traded on the information.

Bannon agreed to pay a civil penalty of $281,497, Rauch agreed to pay $128,230, Ramaiya agreed to pay a civil penalty of $65,780, and Sood agreed to pay a civil penalty of $178,320 to settle the complaint, the SEC said. Wylam consented to a injunction with potential penalties, and litigation against Brown is still pending.

Tags Insider trading Stock market

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