A former IT manager at pharmaceutical company Mylan pleaded guilty Friday to criminal charges for his role in an $8 million insider trading scheme.
Dayakar Mallu served nearly three years as vice president of global operations information technology at Mylan before leaving the company in 2017. He admitted that between 2017 and 2019, he conspired with an unnamed executive at Mylan to trade company stock prior to four corporate announcements concerning drug approvals, financial earnings, and a merger.
Mallu also admitted to preparing a false tax return on behalf of a company he owned and controlled, Opel Systems. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 24, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison for the conspiracy offense and three years in prison for the tax offense.
Mallu is also facing charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to the insider trading scheme.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleges Mallu received material nonpublic information about Mylan from a senior manager at the company who was a close personal friend.
“Mallu knew, consciously avoided knowing, was reckless in not knowing, or should have known” the senior manager disclosed the information in breach of his duty to shareholders, the complaint stated.
The SEC alleged Mallu illicitly gained $7.3 million while avoiding losses of $703,337 trading on that information, and that a portion of the profits were shared with the senior manager.
Notable about the case was the SEC’s use of data analysis to detect the suspicious trading patterns. “Mallu’s efforts to conceal his scheme through secure messaging apps and foreign cash payments were unavailing, as this case highlights the agency’s ability to use sophisticated data analysis to detect suspicious trading patterns and identify the traders behind them,” said Scott Thompson, co-acting regional director of the SEC’s Philadelphia office, in a press release.
The SEC charged Mallu with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Mallu has consented to the entry of a judgment which, if approved, would permanently enjoin him from violating the charged provisions and bar him from acting as an officer or director at a public company. Potential civil penalties would be decided later by the court.