Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Analyst and Tech Executive with Insider Trading in Advance of Merger

The SEC charged Matthew Teeple, a California-based hedge fund analyst, with insider trading in advance of a merger of two technology companies based on nonpublic information he received from his friend, David Riley, an an executive at one of the companies. The SEC also charged Riley and another trader in the $29 million insider trading scheme.

According to the SEC, Teeple was tipped in advance of a July 2008 announcement that Foundry Networks Inc. had agreed to be acquired by Brocade Communication Systems Inc. for approximately $3 billion. Teeple’s source was Foundry’s chief information officer David Riley. Teeple then caused the San Francisco-based hedge fund advisory firm where he works to buy Foundry shares in large quantities in the days leading up to the public announcement, and the hedge funds managed by the firm reaped millions of dollars in profits when Foundry’s stock value increased upon the news. Teeple also tipped a Denver-based investment professional John Johnson whom he befriended through a previous working relationship, and Johnson made illegal trades based on the nonpublic information. Riley also tipped Teeple in advance of at least two other major announcements by Foundry, and Teeple’s firm traded on the nonpublic information to make profits or avoid losses.

In a separate action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Teeple, Riley, and Johnson.

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