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Press Release

Rhode Island Man Pleads Guilty in Insider Trading Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant profited from trades based on information obtained from public company executive

BOSTON – A Rhode Island man pleaded guilty today to trading on inside information about a Massachusetts company’s planned acquisition of a California semiconductor company.

John Younis, 59, of Bristol, R.I., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud in federal court in Boston before U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel, who scheduled sentencing for June 29, 2022. Younis was arrested and charged on Jan. 19, 2022, along with co-defendants David Forte and Gregory Manning.

According to the charging documents, Younis was close friends with co-conspirator David Forte, whose relative was a senior executive at Analog Devices, Inc. (Analog), a Norwood-based semiconductor company. Beginning in or around June 2016, Forte allegedly obtained material non-public information from his relative about Analog’s planned acquisition of Linear Technology Corp. (Linear), a semiconductor company based in Milpitas, Calif. Forte allegedly passed the information to Younis, who purchased shares of Linear stock and call options (bets that the price of a stock will increase prior to the expiration of the option) in the week leading up to the public announcement of the acquisition on July 26, 2016. Younis also tipped a business associate to purchase Linear shares. After the deal was announced, Younis and his associate sold their Linear securities at a profit.

Forte and Manning have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud provides for a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, five 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 $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Office made the announcement. The Securities & Exchange Commission provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Holcomb of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

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

Updated March 23, 2022

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud