The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced charges against a dozen individuals across four separate insider trading cases, including an alleged scheme involving the chief compliance officer of an unnamed international payment processing company.
The CCO, Steven Teixeira, pleaded guilty to DOJ charges he obtained material nonpublic information from the laptop of his then-girlfriend, an executive assistant at a New York City investment bank. Between 2021 and 2022, Teixeira shared this information with friends, including stockbroker Jordan Meadow, to generate illegal profits, the DOJ alleged. Meadow provided items of value, including a Rolex, to Teixeira in exchange for the information, per the DOJ.
Meadow was arrested and charged with six counts of securities fraud. He and Teixeira were each charged by the SEC with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and face civil penalties, disgorgement orders, and officer-and-director bars.
Other insider trading cases brought by the DOJ and SEC included:
- Charges against two individuals, one being a former Pfizer statistician, for trading in advance of the pharmaceuticals company’s public announcement regarding the success of a study into a Covid-19 antiviral treatment.
- Charges against three individuals, including a former board member of Digital World Acquisition Corp., regarding the special purpose acquisition company’s agreement to acquire a media company founded by former President Donald Trump. The SEC also charged venture capital firm Rocket One for its part in the alleged scheme, which generated illicit profits of more than $22.9 million for the individuals.
- Charges against five individuals, including a Massachusetts police chief, regarding trading before the announcement of a tender offer by Alexion Pharmaceuticals to acquire Portola Pharmaceuticals. One of the individuals, Jarett Mendoza, pleaded guilty to DOJ charges and is cooperating with the agency.
“[W]hen public company insiders take advantage of their status for personal gain … the investing public loses confidence that the markets work fairly and for them,” said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, in a statement. “Today’s actions reaffirm our commitment to leveraging all the tools at our disposal, including our data analytics initiatives, to investigate these abusive trading practices, hold accountable bad actors, and ensure the integrity of our markets.”