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Ex-Bristol-Myers executive gets 1 year prison for insider trading

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 1:19 PM ET

* Robert Ramnarine pleaded guilty to securities fraud

* U.S. said defendant bought options in takeover targets

* Ramnarine forfeits $324,777 to SEC

Oct 23 (Reuters) - A former Bristol-Myers Squibb Co finance executive who pleaded guilty to insider trading was sentenced on Wednesday to one year and one day in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Robert Ramnarine, of East Brunswick, New Jersey, admitted in June to one count of securities fraud for trading in Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc stock options before Bristol-Myers agreed to buy the biotechnology company in June 2012 for $5.3 billion.

Prosecutors accused the 46-year-old Ramnarine of making $311,361 of illegal profit from options trading in Amylin and two other companies that Bristol-Myers sought to buy.

Investigators said he learned about the takeovers while working in Bristol-Myers' pension and savings investments office in Princeton, New Jersey, and did Internet searches on detecting insider trading prior to some of his trades.

Ramnarine had worked for the New York-based drugmaker for 15 years, ending as assistant treasurer for capital markets.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey announced the sentencing of Ramnarine by U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson in Trenton, New Jersey.

Thompson also sentenced Ramnarine to serve two years of supervised release and pay a $10,000 fine, Fishman said.

Ramnarine also forfeited $324,777 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a parallel civil case, Fishman added.

The defendant had faced a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

Douglas Jensen, a lawyer for Ramnarine, was not immediately available for comment.

The cases are U.S. v. Ramnarine, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 13-cr-00387; and SEC v. Ramnarine in the same court, No. 12-04837.