Daily News: July 31, 2013

SEC Charges Analyst in SAC Capital Case


The SEC said it charged the tipper of confidential information to a S.A.C. Capital portfolio manager who has been charged with insider trading.

The SEC amended its initial complaint against Richard Lee to additionally charge Sandeep Aggarwal, a sell-side analyst who tipped Lee in advance of a July 2009 public announcement about an Internet search engine partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Aggarwal, who lives in India but recently returned to the U.S.

“Rather than rely on legitimate research methods, Aggarwal obtained confidential information from a close friend at Microsoft and passed it along to Lee knowing that he would likely trade on it,” said Sanjay Wadhwa, senior associate director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “As a sell-side analyst, Aggarwal knew the rules and yet he broke them, which is why he joins the growing ranks of those held accountable by the SEC for insider trading.”

The SEC alleges that Aggarwal learned confidential details about the significant progress of the Microsoft-Yahoo negotiations from his close friend at Microsoft on July 9, 2009, and he tipped Lee with the information during a telephone call the following day. When the information was reported in the media almost a week later, Yahoo’s stock price rose approximately 4%.

According to the SEC’s amended complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, Aggarwal covered both Microsoft and Yahoo for his research firm and regularly received periodic updates from his inside source at Microsoft. Upon learning that Microsoft and Yahoo were potentially within two weeks of finalizing a deal, Aggarwal shared very specific details with Lee. Aggarwal assured him that the information came from a close friend at Microsoft who was reliable and accurate.

To read the entire news release, click here.

Previously on abfjournal: SEC Charges SAC’s Lee With Insider Trading, July 26, 2013