Needham Police Officer Convicted of Insider Trading Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant shared material non-public information with co-conspirators to trade in shares of a soon-to-be acquired company
BOSTON – A Needham police officer was convicted today by a federal jury in Boston of conspiring to trade on inside information about a Massachusetts company’s planned acquisition of a California semiconductor company.
David Forte, 60, of Acton, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2023. Forte was charged in January 2020 along with two alleged co-conspirators. In June 2022, one of those co-conspirators, John Younis, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to one month of home detention and two years of probation after pleading guilty to his role in the conspiracy. The second alleged co-conspirator has pleaded not guilty and is pending trial.
Beginning in or around June 2016, Forte, a Needham Police Department officer, obtained material non-public information from his brother, who was a senior executive at Analog Devices, Inc. (Analog), a Wilmington, Mass.-based semiconductor company, about Analog’s planned acquisition of Linear Technology Corp. (Linear), a semiconductor company based in Milpitas, Calif. Forte passed the information to Younis and, allegedly, the second-co-conspirator, who purchased Linear securities in the week leading up to the public announcement of the acquisition on July 26, 2016. After the deal was announced, Younis and, allegedly, the second co-conspirator sold their Linear securities for a profit. Younis and, allegedly, the other co-conspirator paid Forte cash kickbacks in exchange for Forte’s stock tip.
“Today, a federal jury found that Mr. Forte cheated the securities markets. He engaged in a conspiracy to trade on inside information. He illegally had tomorrow’s news today. Mr. Forte thought he could use his connections to make a quick buck by tilting the scale for his close friends’ financial benefit,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “Insider trading is cheating, plain and simple. It hurts honest investors and damages the public’s confidence that our markets are open and fair. This office and our law enforcement partners will maintain the integrity of our financial markets and prosecute those who seek to corrupt them for their personal gain.”
“David Forte thought he was above the law when he conspired with childhood friends to trade on material, non-public information. Today’s conviction sends an unambiguous message that the temporary gains of insider trading will lead to life-long consequences, including being a felon,” said Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Insider trading undermines faith in our financial markets and harms the everyday investors who play by the rules. The FBI takes this crime seriously. If you choose to conduct this type of illegal behavior, know that we will ensure you are held accountable.”
The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of securities fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy and FBI Acting SAC DiMenna made the announcement today. The Securities & Exchange Commission provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David M. Holcomb and Leslie A. Wright of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The remaining defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated July 21, 2023
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud