Final Judgement on Former InterMune Director and Friend

InterMune - Final Judgement

On June 30, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that the Honorable Jacqueline Scott Corley, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California, entered a final judgment as to Sasan Sabrdaran, the former director of drug safety risk management at Brisbane, California-based InterMune, Inc., and his long-time friend, Farhang Afsarpour. The final judgment orders payment of disgorgement and prejudgment interest and imposes an officer and director bar following a jury verdict that found both defendants had engaged in insider trading.

As shown at trial, Sabrdaran tipped Afsarpour in 2010 with confidential details while Sabrdaran was involved with shepherding InterMune’s application before a European Union regulatory body to market an InterMune drug called Esbriet to be used for the treatment of patients with a type of fatal lung disease. Afsarpour then acted on that tip by purchasing InterMune common stock on a U.S. stock exchange through his U.S.-based stockbroker and by purchasing spread bets on the future price movement in InterMune common stock or options through a U.K-based spread-betting firm. Afsarpour also tipped friends who gave him money with which he purchased certain of the spread bets through his account or who purchased InterMune common stock, options, or spread bets through their own accounts.On November 14, 2016, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the SEC and against Sabrdaran and Afsarpour. Sabrdaran and Afsarpour were found liable for insider trading in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5(b).

The Court’s final judgment, entered June 15, 2017, orders Afsarpour to pay $386,671.99 in disgorgement, of which Sabrdaran is jointly and severally liable for payment of up to $288,968.19, and orders Afsarpour to pay $69,919.93 in prejudgment interest. The final judgment also bars Sabrdaran from acting as an officer or director of any SEC-reporting company. In finding Sabrdaran unfit to serve as an officer of director, the Court observed that “[t]ime and time again, when faced with difficult questions, Dr. Sabrdaran declined to tell the truth” and that “over the course of the SEC’s investigation and during trial” he “engage[d] in dishonest misconduct.”

This concludes the SEC’s federal district court litigation.

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 [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. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.

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Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney
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