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Former Qualcomm executive pleads guilty to insider trading

A former Qualcomm Inc. executive pleaded guilty to using insider information to make about $1 million in profit from stock trades in 2010 and 2011, the Justice Department said.

Jing Wang, 51, who was president of global business operations for Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), entered the plea Monday in federal court in San Diego, the department said in a statement. He bought the company’s stock based on nonpublic information that Qualcomm would boost its dividend in 2010 and before record earnings were announced in 2011, according to the statement.

“Jing Wang blatantly and repeatedly abused the trust placed in him by Qualcomm,” Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, said in the statement. “To make matters worse, he then misused the financial system to conceal his insider trading profits and enlisted his brother and stock broker to obstruct several investigations.”

Wang and his financial adviser, Gary Yin, were friends and members of the same church since 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a parallel lawsuit filed in September. Yin, who worked at Merrill Lynch & Co. in San Diego until April last year, made about $27,000 from the trades, according to the complaint.

Yin has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice and to launder money, according to the Justice Department’s statement.

Among the other insider information Wang and Yin used was Qualcomm’s planned acquisition of Atheros Communications Inc. in December 2010, the SEC said. Wang asked Yin to attribute the Atheros trades to Wang’s brother in China because he was worried they would be detected, according to the SEC.

Brian Hennigan, a lawyer for Wang, didn’t immediately return a call for comment on the guilty plea.

The case is U.S. v. Wang, 13-CR-03487, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego.)

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