Criminal Justice News

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former Senior Executive of Qualcomm Sentenced to 18 Months and Fined $500,000 for Insider Trading and Money Laundering



The former Executive Vice President and President of Global Business Operations for Qualcomm Inc., was sentenced today to 18 months in prison and fined $500,000 for his role in a three-year insider trading scheme.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California made the announcement.

“Through his position as a high-ranking executive at Qualcomm, Jing Wang gained unique access to information about the company’s earnings and intended acquisitions and illegally exploited that inside information for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “He then enlisted the services of others – his stock broker and his brother – to cover up the scheme.  This prosecution demonstrates the Criminal Division’s commitment to holding accountable corporate executives who would undermine the integrity of the financial marketplace.”

“Jing Wang was a powerful insider at one of the world’s top corporations – but he threw it all away to make a few hundred thousand dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Duffy. “While Wang has lost his power, his position and his freedom, the real losers here are investors who play by the rules, and our nation’s financial system, which is diminished with every one of these schemes.”

Jing Wang, 52, of Del Mar, California, pleaded guilty in July 2014 to insider trading, money laundering and obstruction of justice for orchestrating a multi-year scheme to trade on the confidential information of Qualcomm and cover up his criminal conduct.  The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes of the Southern District of California.

In connection with his plea, Wang admitted that he made three, separate insider trades using a brokerage account in the name of his British Virgin Island (BVI) shell company, Unicorn Global Enterprises.  First, in early 2010, prior to Qualcomm’s announcement of a dividend increase and stock repurchase, Wang bought company stock valued at approximately $277,000.  He also admitted that, in December 2010, while attending Qualcomm’s Board of Directors meeting in Hong Kong, and hours after the Board approved a non-public offer to purchase Atheros, a developer of semiconductors for wireless communications, Wang purchased stock in Atheros.  Wang further admitted that, just a few weeks later, he directed his stockbroker, Gary Yin, to sell the Atheros stock, for approximately $481,000, and purchase Qualcomm stock one day before the company announced record earnings.

Wang also pleaded guilty to money laundering for transferring the illegal proceeds from Unicorn’s account to an account of a new BVI shell company he controlled.  He further admitted to obstructing justice by creating a false cover story in which he and co-conspirator Yin would blame Wang’s brother Bing Wang, who resides in rural China, for the insider trading and ownership of the Unicorn Account.  Among other acts, Wang collected incriminating evidence and provided it to Yin to take to China, and arranged meetings between Yin and Bing Wang during which the two rehearsed the false account.                                                                                                

Yin pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice and launder money, and currently is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17, 2015.  Bing Wang has been charged in connection with the scheme, and is wanted on an international arrest warrant.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s San Diego Field Office and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s San Diego Field Division.  The SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office provided substantial assistance.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney James P. McDonald of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric J. Beste of the Southern District of California.

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