Three Men Charged with Insider Trading of GSI Commerce
On February 5, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a business owner, one of his employees and his registered representative with insider trading in advance of GSI Commerce Inc.’s acquisition by eBay, Inc.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that:
- During a trip to the Super Bowl, Robert Munakash learned from a close friend who was an executive at GSI Commerce, that GSI Commerce was likely to engage in a strategic transaction with a private equity firm or be acquired by another company.
- Munakash used this information to purchase GSI Commerce stock for his personal account and tipped his mentee and employee, Carlos Rodriguez, and his registered representative, Marc Winters.
- Rodriguez used the information to purchase GSI Commerce stock for himself and tipped a close relative, who also purchased GSI Commerce stock.
- Winters used the information to first purchase GSI Commerce stock for two discretionary client accounts, and then to purchase GSI Commerce stock for his personal account.
- Munakash learned additional information about the potential acquisition from his friend and GSI Commerce executive a few weeks after the Super Bowl, during the executive’s birthday dinner. The following day, Munakash used this information to purchase additional GSI Commerce stock in his parents’ account and again tipped Rodriguez, who also purchased additional GSI Commerce stock.
- Following the public announcement of GSI Commerce’s proposed acquisition by eBay on March 28, 2011, GSI Commerce’s stock price rose over 50%.
- Munakash, Rodriguez and his relative, and Winters and his clients, all sold their respective positions in GSI Commerce stock within hours of the announcement, realizing over $250,000 in illicit earnings.
The SEC’s complaint charges Munakash, Rodriguez and Winters with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement of allegedly illicit earnings with interest, and civil penalties from the defendants.
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, by email at [email protected] or visit www.securitieslawyer101.com. 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. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.