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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Investment Bank Vice President Arrested In Insider Trading Scheme

Woojae Jung, A/K/A “Steve Jung,” Used a Nominee Trading Account to Make Numerous Securities Trades on Material Nonpublic Information Stolen from his Employer

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the arrest of WOOJAE JUNG, a/k/a “Steve Jung,” and unsealing of a criminal complaint charging JUNG with conspiracy and securities fraud in connection with an insider trading scheme.  The defendant is expected to be presented this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Woojae Jung violated his duty to his company and traded on stolen insider information, over and over again.  This Office remains committed to enforcing the nation’s securities laws to protect the fairness and integrity of the markets.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Financial crimes, especially those that involve the exploitation of material nonpublic information of clients who have placed their trust in investment institutions, have a negative impact on the economy and individuals alike.  We will continue to investigate those who engage in these illegal acts to help prevent future fraudulent activity in the financial markets.” 

According to the allegations in the Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

WOOJAE JUNG, a/k/a “Steve 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.  In his role as a vice president at the Investment Bank, JUNG has access to, among other materials, electronic files maintained on the Investment Fund’s computer servers, 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 and a co-conspirator (“CC-1”) used that MNPI to cause profitable securities trades.  In an effort to conceal this illicit trading, JUNG and CC-1 conducted these illegal trades through a brokerage account held in the name of CC-1, who resides in South Korea.  In contravention of his employer’s rules about outside investment accounts, JUNG accessed, used, and traded in that brokerage 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 and CC-1 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, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and six counts of securities fraud.  The securities fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  The conspiracy to commit securities fraud count carries a maximum penalty of five 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, and thanked the Securities Exchange Commission, which has filed civil charges 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.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation. 

Topic(s): 
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 
18-180
Updated May 31, 2018