Thursday, September 6, 2012
The SEC settled charges that Renee White Fraser, the CEO of a Los Angeles-based public relations firm, traded on nonpublic information she learned from a client that was about to acquire a bank. The SEC alleges that Fraser was contacted by Pasadena-based East West Bancorp (EWBC) for marketing and public relations support during its acquisition of San Francisco-based United Commercial Bank. The very next day after agreeing to take on EWBC as a client, Fraser bought 10,000 shares of EWBC stock. She sold all of her shares after EWBC’s stock price jumped 55 percent after the public announcement of the acquisition. Fraser agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying $91,530.36, which is more than double what she gained in illegal profits from her alleged insider trading.