SEC Insider Trading Case Roundup

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By Jennifer Bennett

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought or settled insider training complaints this week involving former vice presidents at Synaptics Inc. and Sequenom Inc. and a scientist at Laboratory Corp. of America. In settling, defendants neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.

Ex-Finance VP Used Wife’s Account to Hide Insider Trades

Fred Tinker, former vice president of finance for Synaptics Inc., allegedly used his wife’s brokerage account to trade just before acquisition talks became public. Tinker learned a Chinese investment firm was interested in purchasing Synaptics, a touch-pad technology company. He then bought 10,000 Synaptics shares using his wife’s account, selling the shares a few months after Bloomberg reported on the acquisition talks in September 2015.

Tinker, based in Los Altos, Calif., saw an “unrealized gain” of about $90,000 when the stock price increased upon news of the acquisition talks. He settled with the SEC on July 31 for just under $187,000, including an almost $90,000 fine.

Former Prenatal Testing VP Tipped Friend Before Merger

Robert Lozuk, until October 2016 a senior vice president of commercial operations at prenatal testing firm Sequenom Inc., allegedly tipped a childhood friend about an upcoming merger. Lozuk told his friend, John Kollus, about Laboratory Corp. of America Holding’s bid for Sequenom at a social event a week before the companies publicly announced the merger. Kollus made nearly $27,000 in profit on the tipped trades, the SEC said.

Lozuk, who lives in Carlsbad, Calif., settled with the SEC on Aug. 1 for about $27,000. Kollus, a sales manager at a media and financial information company, entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the SEC in June. Lozuk also agreed to a five-year bar on serving as an officer or director of a public company.

Scientist Made $14K Profit Insider Trading on Lab Merger

Laboratory Corp. of America Holding scientist Anup Madan allegedly made over $14,000 on insider trades surrounding the company’s acquisition of Sequenom. Madan, a scientist at a LabCorp genome facility, learned about the merger when his company sent him to Sequenom’s San Diego lab for a confidential visit.

Madan, who lives in Bellevue, Wash., agreed Aug. 1 to pay about $28,000 to settle the SEC allegations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Bennett in Washington at jbennett@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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