A former Rite Aid compliance executive agreed to pay a civil penalty of $305,129 to resolve insider trading charges regarding sale of company stock.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered final judgment Friday against Steven Sheinfeld, who served as vice president of internal assurance services at Rite Aid until departing the company in April 2017. Sheinfeld, who was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2020, agreed to pay his fine in three installments without admitting or denying the allegations and waived any right to an appeal.
The SEC alleged Sheinfeld traded Rite Aid stock for himself and two family members after learning confidentially through his employment an anticipated merger between Rite Aid and Walgreens Boots Alliance would not close by an upcoming deadline. In response, Sheinfeld liquidated all his exercisable Rite Aid employee stock options, according to the SEC. The agency’s complaint further alleged Sheinfeld sold Rite Aid stock owned by his sister-in-law and adult daughter as well.
The entire stock sales likely saved him and his family $155,000 in losses, the SEC said.
The SEC alleged Sheinfeld obtained the material nonpublic information about the merger while performing compliance-related tasks for the Integration Management Office (IMO). The IMO was formed in 2015 with both Rite Aid and Walgreens employees whose goal was to prepare for the merger of the two companies. All information generated by the IMO was considered confidential, and employees receiving information were told it should not be shared with anyone.
“Sheinfeld knew, or was reckless in not knowing, that he had a duty not to trade Rite Aid securities on the basis of confidential information about the planned merger, including information about [Federal Trade Commission] approval of the planned merger and the likely timing of the planned merger,” the SEC said in its complaint.