Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Former Investment Banking Analyst and Two Friends Charged in Insider Trading Scheme

An analyst with J.P. Morgan Securities and two longtime friends were taken into custody this morning after being charged in a federal grand jury indictment that alleges they participated in an insider trading scheme that netted more than $600,000 in illicit profits.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division made the announcement.

Ashish Aggarwal, 27, of San Francisco; Shahriyar Bolandian, 26, of Los Angeles; and Kevan Sadigh, 28, of Los Angeles, are named in an indictment that was unsealed this morning and charges each defendant with one count of conspiracy to commit securities and tender offer fraud, 13 substantive counts of securities fraud, 13 substantive counts of tender offer fraud and three substantive counts of wire fraud.  Bolandian also is charged with one count of money laundering.

The defendants surrendered to the FBI this morning, and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh of the Central District of California.

Between June 2011 and June 2013, Aggarwal was employed by J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC (JPMS) as an investment banking analyst in its San Francisco office.  According to the indictment, through his employment, Aggarwal allegedly obtained material, non-public (inside) information about upcoming mergers and acquisitions involving publicly-traded companies.  The indictment alleges that Aggarwal disclosed this information to his friend Bolandian who, in turn, shared the information with Sadigh, who is also a friend of Bolandian.  Bolandian and Sadigh then allegedly used the inside information to trade in advance of the public announcements of Integrated Device Technology Inc.’s April 2012 planned acquisition of PLX Technology Inc., and Inc.’s June 2013 acquisition of ExactTarget Inc.  According to the indictment, through this scheme, Aggarwal, Bolandian and Sadigh netted more than $600,000 in illicit profits, which the defendants allegedly used to, among other things, cover previous trading losses and to repay liabilities incurred by Aggarwal and Bolandian.

The case was investigated by the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Thomas B.W. Hall and Alexander F. Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Stern of the Central District of California.  The Securities and Exchange Commission provided valuable assistance.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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