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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 5, 2021

Oregon Biotech Consultant Charged in Insider Trading Scheme

BOSTON – An Oregon biotechnology consultant was charged today in federal court in Boston in connection with his role in an alleged insider trading scheme involving the acquisition of a Cambridge biotechnology company in 2017.

Mark Joseph Ahn, 58, of Lake Oswego, Ore., was charged with two counts of securities fraud. Ahn will make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston at a later date.

As alleged in the charging document, from April to August 2017, Ahn, a long-time senior corporate executive and board director for biotech companies, worked as a consultant for a New York firm, and advised it during its efforts to acquire Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., a biotech firm formerly headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. In the course of his work for the New York firm, Ahn learned Dimension’s intention to be acquired by another biotech firm, the details and the timing of his employer’s proposals to acquire Dimension and gained access to confidential information about Dimension’s business. Ahn thereafter bought Dimension stock while in possession of that nonpublic information. When Dimension announced that it would be acquired in August 2017, its stock increased 262% in one day.

Today, the SEC filed a separate civil action against Ahn in federal court in Boston.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office received valuable assistance from the Securities & Exchange Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 5, 2021