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Feds charge 7 people with insider trading

Florida investors may be interested to learn that federal authorities have indicted seven people for using insider trading tips to make more than $5 million in profit. The charges were announced on Aug. 23.

According to authorities, a 32-year-old Bank of America employee provided the 60-year-old father of his girlfriend with insider tips about a series of pending corporate transactions. Both men have already pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, fraud and making false statements to FBI agents. Meanwhile, five alleged co-conspirators were taken into custody on Aug. 23 and charged with multiple crimes.

Prosecutors said that the Bank of America employee leaked information regarding more than 50 pending business acquisitions, mergers and tender offers to the other defendants between August 2014 and April 2017. Examples of the transactions that were leaked include Abbott Laboratories' takeover of St. Jude Medical Inc. and Bayer AG's takeover of Monsanto Co. The father of the employee's girlfriend reportedly made over $2 million in profit from the tips. A broker friend of the father allegedly used the tips to make several hundred thousand dollars. Bank of America fired the employee in April.

Individuals charged with insider trading may be able to help their situation by contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney could protect a defendant's rights throughout the legal process and work to develop strong defense strategies based on the circumstances of the case. In some cases, it may be possible to dispute the charges in court. In other cases, it may be advisable to negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges and penalties.

Source: Reuters, "Seven charged in U.S. insider trading ring", Brendan Pierson, Aug. 16, 2017

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