SEC Charges Financial Adviser Kevin Dowd with Tipping Insider Information

SEC v. Kevin L. Dowd.  On January 25, 2013, the SEC announced charges in New Jersey Federal Court against Kevin Dowd for illegally tipping inside information.  The SEC alleges that Dowd learned about the acquisition of Pharmasset Inc. by Gilead Sciences from one of his supervisors at the brokerage firm where he worked.  The supervisor learned about the deal from a customer who was on Pharmasset’s board of directors.  The supervisor told Dowd to keep the information confidential and to refrain trading in Pharmasset securities.  Nevertheless, Dowd tipped a friend who bought Pharmasset stock right before the public announcement of the deal.  The trader also tipped another individual who bought Pharmasset call options, and together they made $708,327 in profits.  According to the SEC, Dowd profited by receiving a jet ski dock from the tippee and a cashier’s check for $35,000.  The SEC alleges that Dowd violated Sections 10(b) and (14)(e) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3.  The SEC is seeking disgorgement with prejudgment interest, a civil monetary penalty, and a permanent injunction.  Also, in a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced criminal charges against Dowd.

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