It always seems like those brainy and very greedy insider traders end up getting caught doing the stupidest things. Well, in this case, part of the way the SEC caught these two insider traders was by their simultaneous use of Metrocards at subway stations in NY. Oops. Don’t they know everything you do these days is tracked one way or another?
The SEC alleges that Allen communicated with Bennett about the Millennium and Sepracor transactions through phone calls or in-person meetings, some of which were tracked through their simultaneous use of Metrocards at subway stations in New York City as well as large ATM and bank cash withdrawals made by Bennett prior to the meetings. Allen first obtained non-public information about the Millennium transaction in mid-February 2008 when his firm began advising Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company during its negotiations with Millennium. On February 27, Allen tipped Bennett with inside information about Takeda’s impending cash tender offer, and Bennett then tipped Robbins. Starting on February 29 and continuing up until the week before the public announcement of the acquisition, Robbins and Bennett spent tens of thousands of dollars amassing Millennium call options. Additionally, Robbins purchased Millennium shares and sold Millennium put options. After the deal was publicly announced on April 10, the price of Millennium shares increased more than 48 percent, and that afternoon Robbins began liquidating his holdings of Millennium securities for ill-gotten gains of more than $1.12 million. Bennett liquidated his Millennium holdings for illicit profits of more $602,000. Source: SEC
Hat tip to Matt Levine of Bloomberg.