Friday, February 9, 2007
Federal prosecutors and the SEC filed criminal and civil insider trading charges against a father, two of his sons, and a family friend for transactions in the securities of the company where the father was an executive and later in companies retaining the accounting firms of one son and the friend. The defendants in the criminal case, who entered guilty pleas, are Zvi Rosenthal, who was a vice president of Taro Pharmaceuticals Industries, Inc., his sons Amir and Ayal, and Amir's childhood friend, David Heyman. The SEC suit also alleges insider trading by Oren Rosenthal, Zvi's third son, Amir's father-in-law, and Amir's supervisor. Ayal worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Heyman worked at Ernst & Young. They admitted tipping Amir about pending mergers before the public announcement of the transactions, and Amir in turn tipped his supervisor. The SEC Litigation Release (here) describes the insider trading at Taro Pharmaceuticals:
In its complaint, the Commission alleged that Zvi Rosenthal, a Vice President at Taro, abused his position at Taro by systematically stealing material, nonpublic information concerning 13 separate company announcements, including earnings results and pending generic drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration. Zvi then traded on the information and passed it on to his family members who then traded in Taro stock and options. Typically, Zvi provided information to his son, Amir Rosenthal who traded in personal accounts he controlled, and in the account of the family- owned and controlled hedge fund, Aragon Partners, LP.
The Commission alleged that the gains and losses avoided total $3.7 million over a period from 2001 to 2005. In addition to managing the family hedge fund -- which seems to be another way of saying he managed the family's investments -- a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (here) states that Amir is an attorney in New York City. According to court records, there is an attorney with the same name admitted to practice in New York in 2006 after graduating from a New York area law school. An AP story (here) states that Zvi Rosenthal has a prior fraud conviction, which means his sentence may be higher if the court applies the Federal Sentencing Guidelines' criminal history provisions. (ph)