SEC Charges Bank Analyst Ashish Aggarwal With Insider Trading
On August 25th, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a former investment bank analyst with illegally tipping his close friend with confidential information about clients involved in impending mergers and acquisitions of technology companies. The SEC also charged his friend and another individual with insider trading.
The SEC alleges that Ashish Aggarwal, who worked in J.P. Morgan’s San Francisco office, gleaned sensitive nonpublic information about two acquisition deals from colleagues who were working on them. Aggarwal tipped Shahriyar Bolandian, who traded on the basis of the illegal tips in his own accounts as well as accounts belonging to his father and sister. Bolandian also tipped his friend Kevan Sadigh so he could trade on the confidential information. Bolandian worked at Sadigh’s e-commerce company, and together they made more than $672,000 in combined profits from their insider trading.
The SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit detected the insider trading through trading data analysis tools in its Analysis and Detection Center.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on August 25th criminal charges against Aggarwal, who lives in San Francisco, as well as Bolandian and Sadigh, who each live in Los Angeles.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California:
- Aggarwal misappropriated confidential information about two J.P. Morgan-advised deals: Integrated Device Technology’s planned acquisition of PLX Technology in 2012 and salesforce.com’s acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013.
- Aggarwal repeatedly communicated with Bolandian, his friend since college, in the days and weeks leading up to public announcements about the deals.
- Bolandian and Sadigh bought the same series of call options in PLX Technology and ExactTarget. Their trades were often within hours or even minutes of each other, and typically were 100 percent of the daily trading volume of those option series.
- One of the brokerage accounts used by Bolandian was located offshore in the Bahamas. He opened and funded the account with his credit card a week before the ExactTarget deal was announced.
- Bolandian conducted various trades in his accounts on Aggarwal’s behalf in an arrangement that enabled Aggarwal to circumvent J.P. Morgan’s pre-clearance rules and potentially to share in any profits.
The SEC’s complaint charges Aggarwal, Bolandian, and Sadigh with violating Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3. The complaint seeks a final judgment ordering Aggarwal, Bolandian, and Sadigh to pay disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and penalties, and permanent injunctions from future violations of these provisions of the federal securities laws.
For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, or to [email protected]. This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. For more information about going public and the rules and regulations affecting the use of Rule 144, Form 8K, crowdfunding, FINRA Rule 6490, Rule 506 private placement offerings and memorandums, Regulation A, Rule 504 offerings, SEC reporting requirements, SEC registration statements on Form S-1 , IPO’s, OTC Pink Sheet listings, Form 10 and OTC Markets disclosure requirements, DTC Chills, Global Locks, reverse mergers, public shells, direct public offerings and direct public offerings please contact Hamilton and Associates at (561) 416-8956 or [email protected]. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.
Hamilton & Associates | Securities Lawyers
Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney
101 Plaza Real South, Suite 202 North
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Telephone: (561) 416-8956
Facsimile: (561) 416-2855