The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges of insider trading on Monday against nine individuals in three separate cases worth over $6.8 million.

The SEC in a press statement disclosed that the cases involved Amit Bhardwaj, a former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Lumentum Holdings, Brijesh Goel, an investment banker, and Seth Markin, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) trainee.

The financial market regulator alleged that all three men shared insider information with their friends who made illicit gains from trading with the information.

The three individuals were charged before the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The watchdog said the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York on Monday announced parallel criminal charges for the three cases.

In addition, in a separate press statement released on Monday, the SEC announced that it had filed insider trading charges against a former US Representative for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District.

More on the Cases

According to the SEC, Bhardwaj in his capacity as Lumentum Holdings’ CISO got hold of material non-public information (MNPI) about the company’s plans to acquire Coherent, Inc. and NeoPhotonics Corporation.

Bhardwaj allegedly shared this information with his friends Dhirenkumar Patel, Srinivasa Kakkera, Abbas Saeedi and Ramesh Chitor, before the two separate acquisitions were later announced by the holding company.

The regulator said they generated more than $5.2 million in profit from these activities.

In the second case, the regulator said Goel learned of four planned acquisition announcements in 2017 and tipped his friend off about the information.

They made over $275,000 by trading before the announcements became public, the securities market watchdog said.

In the third case, the SEC alleged that Seth Markin, an ex-FBI trainee, tipped his friend Brandon Wong about a planned announcement of a tender offer from Merck & Co.

Markin, the SEC further alleged, got hold of the information through his ex-girlfriend who was an associate at the law firm handling the deal for Merck & Co.

The regulator said while Markin made $82,000 from the deal, Wong made $1.3 million.

Gurbir Grewal, the Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, reiterated the regulator’s readiness to fish out shady deals.

Grewal noted that the SEC remains ready to take advantage of the expertise and tools at its disposal to “root out misconduct and to hold bad actors accountable no matter the industry or profession.”

"If everyday investors think that the market is rigged at their expense in favor of insiders who abuse their positions, they are not going to invest their hard-earned money in the markets," Grewal said.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges of insider trading on Monday against nine individuals in three separate cases worth over $6.8 million.

The SEC in a press statement disclosed that the cases involved Amit Bhardwaj, a former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Lumentum Holdings, Brijesh Goel, an investment banker, and Seth Markin, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) trainee.

The financial market regulator alleged that all three men shared insider information with their friends who made illicit gains from trading with the information.

The three individuals were charged before the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The watchdog said the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York on Monday announced parallel criminal charges for the three cases.

In addition, in a separate press statement released on Monday, the SEC announced that it had filed insider trading charges against a former US Representative for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District.

More on the Cases

According to the SEC, Bhardwaj in his capacity as Lumentum Holdings’ CISO got hold of material non-public information (MNPI) about the company’s plans to acquire Coherent, Inc. and NeoPhotonics Corporation.

Bhardwaj allegedly shared this information with his friends Dhirenkumar Patel, Srinivasa Kakkera, Abbas Saeedi and Ramesh Chitor, before the two separate acquisitions were later announced by the holding company.

The regulator said they generated more than $5.2 million in profit from these activities.

In the second case, the regulator said Goel learned of four planned acquisition announcements in 2017 and tipped his friend off about the information.

They made over $275,000 by trading before the announcements became public, the securities market watchdog said.

In the third case, the SEC alleged that Seth Markin, an ex-FBI trainee, tipped his friend Brandon Wong about a planned announcement of a tender offer from Merck & Co.

Markin, the SEC further alleged, got hold of the information through his ex-girlfriend who was an associate at the law firm handling the deal for Merck & Co.

The regulator said while Markin made $82,000 from the deal, Wong made $1.3 million.

Gurbir Grewal, the Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, reiterated the regulator’s readiness to fish out shady deals.

Grewal noted that the SEC remains ready to take advantage of the expertise and tools at its disposal to “root out misconduct and to hold bad actors accountable no matter the industry or profession.”

"If everyday investors think that the market is rigged at their expense in favor of insiders who abuse their positions, they are not going to invest their hard-earned money in the markets," Grewal said.