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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 7, 2021

Oregon Biotech Consultant Sentenced for Insider Trading Scheme

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

Mark Joseph Ahn, 58, of Lake Oswego, Ore., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to six months in prison, six months of home detention, two years of supervised release, a fine of $5,500, forfeiture of $49,421 and restitution to be determined at a later date. On March 2, 2021, Ahn pleaded guilty to two counts of securities fraud.

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 about 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.

The SEC previously filed a separate civil action against Ahn in federal court in Boston.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Boston 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 Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated June 7, 2021