Two former Qualcomm Inc. sales directors were charged with insider trading, allegedly making $230,000 in profits from trades in Atheros Communications Inc. when Qualcomm bought the company in 2011.
Derek Cohen and Robert Herman, both 52, were charged with four counts of securities fraud, according to a statement Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. They invested more than $500,000 in Atheros stock and options after they learned Qualcomm would be buying the company and before the acquisition was announced, according to the statement.
“This indictment should send a message throughout Southern California and beyond: The Department of Justice will not tolerate the manipulation of the securities markets for cynical and selfish personal gain,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in the statement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a parallel lawsuit against both men as well as a third former Qualcomm salesman. Cohen was arrested two days ago at Los Angeles International Airport, after he returned from a trip to the Philippines, and pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Monday, according to the statement. Herman is at large, prosecutors said.
An ex-president of Qualcomm Inc.’s global business operations was charged in September with taking part in an insider-trading scheme involving shares of the mobile-phone chipmaker as well as those of Atheros.
The case is U.S. v. Cohen, 14-cr-01202, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).
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