Florida Investor who Made More Than $250,000 from Insider Trading Scheme Sentenced to One Year in Prison
TRENTON, N.J. B A Florida man who admitted trading on material, nonpublic information concerning Gilead Sciences Inc.’s $11 billion acquisition of New Jersey-based Pharmasset Inc. was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jay Fung of Delray Beach, Florida, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Judge Thompson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In November 2011, a conspirator who worked at a global wealth management firm learned that Pharmasset was going to be sold for a significant profit per share. On Nov. 18, 2011, the conspirator passed the inside information to Fung, who then purchased call options and shares of Pharmasset.
On Nov. 21, 2011, Gilead publicly announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Pharmasset for approximately $11 billion, or $137 per share in cash. The purchase price represented an approximately 89 percent premium over Pharmasset’s closing price of $72.67 on Nov. 18, 2011.
Following the public announcement of Gilead’s acquisition of Pharmasset, Fung sold the Pharmasset shares and options he had purchased on Nov. 18, 2011, for total illegal profits of more than $250,000.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Fung to three years of supervised release. He has already forfeited $345,245.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the SEC for the assistance provided by its Market Abuse Unit, under the direction of Joseph Sansone and Robert Cohen, and its Philadelphia Regional Office, under the direction of Sharon Binger.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit.
Today’s sentencing is part of efforts underway by the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than18, 000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov