A former executive within the treasury department of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to securities fraud, has settled related insider-trading charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC announced this week.
According to the SEC, while employed at Bristol, Robert D. Ramnarine used inside knowledge of planned acquisitions of three biotech companies -- Pharmasset, ZymoGenetics, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals -- to trade options in the three companies ahead of announcements of Bristol's interest. Furthermore, the SEC says Ramnarine ran Internet searches for such phrases as:
- "can stock option be traced to purchaser"
- "how to detect can stock option be traced to purchase inside trading"
- "illegal insider trading options trace"
On Tuesday, the SEC announced that a federal judge has approved a settlement with Ramnarine, whereby he agreed to:
- disgorge $311,361 in ill-gotten profits
- pay prejudgment interest of $13,061
- transfer funds in a brokerage account he controlled to the Commission
- be permanently enjoined "from acting as an officer or director of any issuer that has any class of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act."
The SEC says it may seek further civil penalties against Ramnarine at a future date. He is scheduled for sentencing on the criminal charges on Sept. 26.
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