Former Wells Fargo investment banker John Femenia was charged in Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this month with leading an $11m insider trading ring that paid kickbacks in cash and gold for tips on corporate mergers.
In Santa Ana, California, former Major League Baseball player Doug DeCinces was charged last month with making $1.3m on tips he got from an executive at a medical eye-products company. In Newark, New Jersey, U.S. prosecutors charged executives at three health-care companies November 19th with trading on illegal information.
Bloomberg reports that trading has moved beyond its traditional confines on Wall Street - and the U.S. government has followed. Investigators and self-regulatory bodies are working more closely and adopting new tactics to detect the lawbreakers wherever they trade.
'I don’t recall a time in history where this many U.S. attorney’s offices and the SEC have brought so many big insider cases in such a short period', Daniel Hawke, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Market Abuse Unit, said in an interview. 'It shows there’s a high level of activity and energy and coordination'.
The number of people sued by the SEC or charged with insider trading by the Justice Department has more than doubled since 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. There were 56 in 2008, 96 in 2009, 67 in 2010, 104 in 2011 and 125 this year. Of those, 22 percent were linked to trading involving health-care stocks.
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