Monday, April 8, 2013
The SEC charged ThanhHa Bao, who worked in the finance department at Abaxis Inc., a medical device manufacturer, with illegally tipping confidential financial data to her brother, Tai Nguyen, who illegally traded in the company's stock and enabled his hedge fund clients to do the same. The SEC alleges that Nguyen's trading in advance of the company's quarterly earnings announcements generated $144,910 in illicit profits. Nguyen, who was charged by the SEC last year, also passed confidential information to clients of his equity research firm Insight Research, including hedge fund managers. In a parallel criminal proceeding, Nguyen pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He also agreed to a criminal forfeiture of $400,000.
To settle the SEC's charges, Bao has agreed to pay $144,910 and be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years.
The SEC's charges stem from its ongoing investigations into expert networks that have uncovered widespread insider trading at several hedge funds and other investment advisory firms.