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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Former Investment Bank Employee Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading Scheme

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that WOOJAE JUNG, a/k/a “Steve Jung,” pled guilty today to one of count of securities fraud relating to his scheme to buy stock based on material nonpublic information. JUNG’s plea was taken by U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman and will be transmitted to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan for consideration.  

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Woojae Jung pled guilty today to using favorable material nonpublic information taken from his investment bank employer in order to generate illicit profits, netting nearly $130,000 in illegal gains.  Our Office will continue to fight insider trading and ensure that those who cheat in our financial markets are held to account.”

According to the Information, the allegations in the Complaint, and statements made during the proceedings in Manhattan federal court:

JUNG worked at an investment bank (the “Investment Bank”) that provided, among other services, financing and consulting to clients in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructurings.  The Investment Bank has offices around the world, including in New York, New York, and San Francisco, California.  JUNG was a vice president.  In his role as a vice president at the Investment Bank, JUNG had access to, among other materials, electronic files maintained on the Investment Fund’s computer server, including files containing material nonpublic information (“MNPI”) relating to various clients.

JUNG used his position at the Investment Bank to obtain MNPI about a number of the Investment Bank’s clients and then, in multiple instances, JUNG used that MNPI to cause profitable securities trades.  In an effort to conceal this illicit trading, JUNG caused these illegal trades to be conducted through a brokerage account held in the name of another person.  In contravention of his employer’s rules about outside investment accounts, JUNG accessed, used, and traded in that account repeatedly between in or about 2015 and in or about 2017, including on hundreds of occasions when the account was accessed through IP addresses subscribed in JUNG’s name.

Over the course of the scheme JUNG traded in securities of at least 10 companies based on MNPI and made more than approximately $130,000.

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JUNG, 37, of San Francisco, California, pled guilty to one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the FBI.  He also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission, which previously filed civil charges against JUNG in a separate action.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Thomas is in charge of the case.

Press Release Number: 
18-451
Updated December 19, 2018