DOJ and SEC Bring Insider Trading Charges for Use of Confidential Government Information Obtained by Consultant: Cases Continue Trend of Insider Trading Charges Based on Material Non-Public Government Information Obtained Through Government Source

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - June 6, 2017

On May 24, 2017, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the arrests and criminal indictment of four individuals for alleged insider trading on the basis of confidential information about upcoming federal government actions that was obtained from a government employee.  A fifth defendant pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.  Four of the five individuals also were named in a civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the same conduct.  Theodore Huber, Robert Olan and Jordan Fogel served as investment professionals at an investment adviser to funds focused primarily on the healthcare sector.  The three individuals allegedly traded on the basis of material non-public information provided to them by David Blaszczak, a “political intelligence” consultant with expertise in, and connections to, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that sets Medicare reimbursement rates.  In total, trades made based on this information are alleged to have resulted in over $3.9 million in ill-gotten gains for funds managed or traded by Huber, Olan and Fogel.  Continuing recent enforcement trends, these complaints and indictments present a potential expanded area of insider trading enforcement. For funds, traders, research consultants and other market participants, these developments underscore the continuing risks associated with trading undertaken on the basis of information obtained from private or government sources.