The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against a Swiss investor who allegedly made $1.8 million in illegal profits on insider information regarding a potential Apple acquisition.

Swiss Trader Sued For Alleged Apple Inc. Linked Insider Trading
Source: Pixabay

Insider trading related to Apple acquisition of AuthenTec

According to the SEC, Helmut Anscheringer allegedly purchased stock and CALL options in AthenTec after his longtime friend informed him that Apple is acquiring the company. He had learned about the deal before it was disclosed to the public.

AuthenTec is a tech security company that provides fingerprint sensors and solutions that allow computers and mobile devices to identify their users without entering a password.

Apple announced its acquisition of AuthenTec for $8.00 per share or around $356 million in cash on July 27, 2012. The SEC noted that the stock price of AuthenTec surged more than 60% after Apple announced the deal— days after Anscheringer received the insider tip.

The SEC alleged that the Swiss investor made $1.8 million in illegal profits after trading AuthenTec shares based on the insider information about Apple deal.

Foreign investors are not exempted from SEC investigation

“Anscheringer attempted to profit by freely trading on inside information. Foreign traders in U.S. stocks are not exempt from SEC scrutiny as we traced the misconduct back to Anscheringer when investigating these significant purchases in a trading account belonging to an entity in the British Virgin Islands for which he was listed as the beneficiary, said Glenn Gordon, Associate Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office.

According to the SEC, Anscheringer agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle the charges filed against him for trading on non-public information ahead of the announcement of Apple regarding its acquisition of AuthenTec.

Based on the investigation of the Commission, the Swiss investor violated Section10 (b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Anscheringer settled the case without admitting or denying the findings of the SEC. He agreed to pay a disgorgement of $1,820,024, prejudgment interest of $121,732 and a penalty of $910,012. The total amount of the settlement is $2,851,768.

Arscheringer was ordered to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.