Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Linklaters suspends lawyer linked to insider trading

Views Of Harvard University And The Massachusetts Institute Of Technology Researching crime doesn't pay for scientist accused of insider trading
Frank Williams | 14 July, 2017, 16:40

In the case of 31-year-old MIT research scientist Fei Yen, his Google searches and subsequent trading led authorities to arrest him.

Authorities said Wednesday that Fei Yan was charged with earning $120,000 in illegal profits from secrets stemming from two corporate mergers a year ago. He was freed on $500,000 bail after appearing in a Boston court. His assistant public defender did not immediately comment.

"We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities on this matter, and the relevant associate has been suspended, pending further investigation, without access to the firm's systems and confidential information", Linklaters said in a statement.

"Armed with confidential information about a corporate acquisition his spouse was working on, Yan allegedly traded on that information over and over again during a three-week period", said USA attorney Joon Kim. It also worked with Sibanye Gold Limited of South Africa, which announced its acquisition of Stillwater in December of past year.

Yan later sold his holdings in Mattress Firm Holding Corp. of Houston and Stillwater Mining Co. of Colorado following announcements that they would be acquired, reaping a roughly $120,000 profit, the SEC alleged.

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Prosecutors allege Yan viewed various articles on the internet, including "Want to Commit Insider?"

According to prosecutors [PDF] this week, the evidence against Yan includes multiple search engine queries made from his work PC on "how sec detect unusual trade" and "insider trading with worldwide account", as well as visits to multiple webpages on the subject, including one titled "Want to commit insider trading?" The SEC had flagged Yan's trades as suspicious.

The complaints allege that Yan opened an account in his mother's name at a brokerage firm in June 2016 to use for trading purposes.

Following his arrest in Massachusetts, Yan was charged with securities fraud and wire fraud.

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