An analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities and two co-conspirators were arrested Tuesday, charged with an insider trading scheme that netted more than $600,000 in illegal profits.
Ashish Aggarwal, 27, of San Francisco worked at the brokerage house between 2011 and 2013 and obtained material, non-public information about upcoming mergers and acquisitions involving publicly traded companies. He allegedly passed that information on to friends, including Kevan Sadigh, 28, of Encino, who used the information to trade in the equity markets.
Deals involved in the scam included Device Technology Inc.’s 2012 planned acquisition of PLX Technology Inc., and Salesforce.com Inc.’s 2013 acquisition of ExactTarget Inc.
The indictment charges each defendant with 13 counts of conspiracy to commit securities and tender offer fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
“Insider trading corrodes the integrity of the markets and undermines confidence among those who choose to trade,” U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said in a statement. “We will bring to justice anyone who illegally uses or shares confidential business information that can be used to manipulate the system.”
If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of five years in federal prison for conspiracy and 20 years each for the fraud counts.
The FBI investigated the insider trading scheme with help from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has filed a related civil lawsuit.