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© tom schmucker dreamstime.com Business | February 23, 2015

Former Qualcomm executive pleads guilty to insider trading

The executive pled guilty to insider trading and admitted netting almost USD 200'000 in fraudulent proceeds by trading ahead of Qualcomm’s 2011 acquisition of Atheros Communications.
At the time of his illegal trade, the executive was a director in Qualcomm’s North America Sales Department. Two of his former colleagues in the Sales Department have already been charged and taken responsibility for their misconduct, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in California.

According to the plea agreement, he and one of his colleagues were part of an informal stock trading group that occasionally shared tips and opinions with each other about the stock market. Beginning in December 2010, their immediate supervisor notified them that Qualcomm was contemplating a major acquisition of a public company, and emphasised that this information was secret.

The ex-exceutive had learned from his position at Qualcomm that the identity of the acquisition target was Atheros. he then engaged in a series of stock and options trades to take advantage of this inside information at the expense of ordinary shareholders. Less than an hour after the last illegal trade, the New York Times reported on the planned acquisition by Qualcomm, which caused Atheros’s stock price to rocket upward, the statement continues.

The former sales director then sold his stock and stock options later that month for an illegal profit of just under USD 200'000 – an amount that he agreed to forfeit to the United States as part of his plea agreement.

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