SEC charges 4 in California insider trading case

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged a former Barclays analyst and three others allegedly linked to an insider trading ring. The California-based operation racked up nearly $750,000 in profits by trading ahead of four corporate announcements, the SEC said.

The four men have agreed to settle the charges by paying more than $1.6 million combined, according to the SEC. They neither admitted guilt nor denied the allegations.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
The Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington.

The charges allege that John Gray, then a Barclays research analyst, and a friend, Christian Keller, traded on confidential merger information that Keller learned while working in finance at two public companies. The pair attempted to conceal the trades in a brokerage account held in a third individual's name and Gray tipped a fourth man so he could trade in advance of announcements, the SEC alleges.

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The trades allegedly started when Keller worked as a financial analyst at Applied Materials. The charges hold that Keller and Gray traded before two company acquisitions in 2009 and 2011.

The scheme continued when Keller joined Rovi Corporation in 2012, the SEC alleges.

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