Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The SEC announced on April 25 that former Banco Santander S.A. analyst Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia of Madrid, Spain, has agreed to pay more than $625,000 to settle insider trading charges against him. The SEC accused Garcia in August 2010 of illegally trading in advance of a corporate takeover by a company that Santander advised. The SEC previously filed an emergency court action and obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order and asset freeze over the funds held in Garcia’s brokerage account. The SEC alleged that Garcia just days earlier had traded on the basis of material, nonpublic information about a multi-billion dollar cash tender offer by BHP Billiton Plc to acquire Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. At the time, Garcia was the head of a research arm at Santander, a Spanish banking group advising BHP on its bid. Garcia purchased 282 call option contracts for Potash stock in the days leading up to the public announcement, and immediately sold all of his options following the announcement for illicit profits of $576,033.
The settlement with Garcia requires the approval of U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Aspen in the Northern District of Illinois.