Insider Trader Gets Caught Searching Google on How NOT to Get Caught

Aug 2, 2012
J. Webster
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You’ve got to laugh at this a little bit. How greed gets the best of the brightest and the smartest all the time and they’re usually caught in the silliest manner. That latest Wall Street comical misstep falls to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) executive Robert Ramnarine, who used insider information to buy options in three companies he was evaluating for Bristol-Myers. The laughable part is he did some Google searches to see how NOT to get caught for insider trading and that’s just what got him caught:

He helped the New York-based drugmaker evaluate whether to buy targeted companies, including ZymoGenetics Inc., Pharmasset Inc. and Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMLN), the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. As he conducted due diligence on pension and savings plans of those companies, he also bought options in all three, violating his duty to not profit from inside information, according to the FBI.

From his office in Princeton, New Jersey, Ramnarine conducted Internet searches to determine whether he could be detected by authorities, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued him today. One search was on the term “can stock option be traced to purchase inside trading,” according to the civil complaint.

“Ramnarine tried to educate himself about how the SEC investigates insider trading so he could avoid detection,” Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit, said in a statement. “Our charges against Ramnarine should serve notice that when you violate insider trading laws, no matter how you scheme, you will be caught.” (BusinessWeek)

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