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Press Release

Current and Former Minor League Baseball Players Indicted for Insider Trading in Del Taco Stocks

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California


SAN DIEGO – An indictment was unsealed today charging current and former minor league baseball players Jordan Qsar, Grant Witherspoon and Austin Bernard with insider trading in Del Taco, Inc. stocks after they received advanced notice of the acquisition of Del Taco by Jack in the Box, Inc. on December 6, 2021.

According to the indictment, Qsar learned from a close friend who worked at Jack in the Box that the company was acquiring Del Taco. The friend was a senior associate in Jack in the Box’s strategic finance department who personally worked on the acquisition project. The disclosure was a violation of duties to Jack in the Box and its shareholders.

The indictment states that Qsar fraudulently shared the inside information with Witherspoon and Bernard, who were connected to Qsar through collegiate and minor league baseball teams at Pepperdine University and the Tampa Bay Rays.

In the following months, after learning the inside information, Qsar, Witherspoon, and Bernard purchased Del Taco stocks, discussed when and how many shares they were purchasing, and tipped others with the inside information.

According to the indictment, after Jack in the Box and Del Taco went public with the acquisition on December 6, 2021, Del Taco stocks jumped in price from $7.53 to $12.51 per share—representing a 66 percent increase from the prior trading day’s closing price. In the days following, Qsar, Witherspoon, and Bernard sold all their Del Taco stocks, earning them illegal profits of approximately $56,000, $41,800, and $64,600, respectively.

“The system has to be fair for everyone, or the market fails,” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath. “Those who seek to undermine this system for personal gain will face consequences.”

“Insider trading directly affects the integrity of our economy,” said FBI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure people who intentionally undermine and threaten our economy will be brought to justice.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Sou.

DEFENDANTS                                 Case Number: 24-CR-0385-DMS

Jordan Joseph Qsar                             Age: 28

Grant Lee Witherspoon                      Age: 27

Austin Lane Bernard                          Age: 28


Title 18 U.S.C. 371 – Conspiracy

Maximum Penalty: Five years in prison; $250,000 fine

Title 15 U.S.C. 78j(b), 78ff & Title 17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5 and 240.10b5-1 – Securities Fraud

Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison; $5 million fine

Title 18 USC 1343 – Wire Fraud & Title 18 USC 2 – Aiding and Abetting

Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison; $250,000 fine

Title 18 USC 981(a)(1)(C) and Title 28 USC 2461(c) – Criminal Forfeiture


Federal Bureau Investigation

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or

Updated March 26, 2024

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: CAS24-0326-Qsar