Clamping down on insider trading activities, US regulator SEC has barred Indian resident Sandeep Aggarwal from the securities market as well as from being associated with any investment adviser.
Aggarwal, who is a financial analyst, was charged last year by the US authorities for spilling confidential information about the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo to a portfolio manager at a hedge fund advisory firm.
The Securities and Exchange Commission order, issued on January 8, follows Aggarwal’s submitting an offer of settlement which has been accepted by the SEC.
Aggarwal has been barred from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognised statistical rating organisation.
Besides, SEC said he has been restrained from “participating in any offering of a penny stock, including: acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer or issuer for purposes of the issuance or trading in any penny stock, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock”.
Passing the order, SEC said it deems appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions agreed to in Aggarwal’s offer.
The regulator had charged Aggarwal for tipping secret information to a S A C Capital portfolio manager who had earlier been charged with insider trading.
SEC’s amended complaint had alleged that Aggarwal, in July 2009, learned confidential details about the progress of negotiations concerning the formation of a partnership between two technology companies from an individual who worked at one of the companies.
Later, the information was passed on to a portfolio manager who subsequently traded securities based on the tip.
“Aggarwal knew, recklessly disregarded, or should have known, that the material non-public information he received and tipped was disclosed or misappropriated in breach of a fiduciary duty, or similar relationship of trust and confidence,” the complaint had said.
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In November last year, Aggarwal pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
As per SEC’s latest order, Aggarwal resides in India. From April 2008 until April 2010, he was the senior Internet research analyst at Collins Stewart LLC, a registered broker dealer and registered investment adviser that was subsequently acquired by Canaccord Financial, and is now known as Canaccord Genuity Inc, it added.