Insight Research founder Tai Nguyen is charged with insider trading yesterday. Here is what SEC said in its press release:
The charges stem from the SEC’s ongoing investigation of insider trading involving so-called “expert networks” that provide specialized information to investment firms. The SEC alleges that from 2006 through 2009, Nguyen frequently traded in the securities of Abaxis, Inc. based on inside information he received from a close relative employed at Abaxis. Nguyen repeatedly traded for himself in advance of the company’s quarterly earnings announcements while in possession of key data in those announcements, reaping tens of thousands of dollars in illicit profits. Nguyen also passed that same information to hedge fund clients of Insight Research, who used the inside information to make millions of dollars in profits from trading Abaxis securities.
According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, Nguyen regularly obtained material nonpublic information about Abaxis Inc.’s quarterly earnings — including revenues, gross profit margins and earnings per share — from a relative who worked in Abaxis’s finance department. Nguyen used the information to trade Abaxis securities in his own account and reaped approximately $145,000 in illicit trading profits from 2006 through 2009.
In addition to trading in his own account, the SEC alleges that Nguyen passed the inside information to New York-based Barai Capital Management and Boston-based Sonar Capital Management, both of which were clients of Nguyen’s firm, Insight Research. The two hedge fund managers — who collectively were paying Insight Research tens of thousands of dollars each month — traded Abaxis securities based on the inside information that Nguyen provided and reaped more than $7.2 million in illicit gains for their hedge funds.