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November 2, 2009

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Civil lawsuit on insider trading launched

THE Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit alleging insider trading against the former chief financial officer of a San Francisco private equity fund and six others.

The suit filed last Friday claims that Chen Tang gleaned non-public information through his job at an unidentified private equity fund and from his brother-in-law at a hedge fund that he and others used to reap illegal trading profits of more than US$8 million.

"As the CFO of a private equitsy firm, Tang was entrusted with highly confidential and material information, and he violated that trust by misusing the information to generate enormous illegal profits," Rose Romero, who heads the SEC's Forth Worth, Texas, office, said in a statement.

The suit says Tang, 39, passed insider information to his brother and four others, who used the tips to make bets via personal accounts and investment funds on shares of Tempur-pedic International Inc and Acxiom Corp.

The agency also claims Tang got tips from his brother-in-law, Ronald Yee, a 39-year-old former CFO of hedge fund ValueAct Capital.

Yee allegedly passed along the tip in 2007 about his firm's impending bid for Acxiom that Tang, three of Tang's friends and his brother used to make US$6 million in trading profits.


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