SEC charges 8 men with insider-trading related to Sanofi-Chattem deal

Group made more than $500,000 on confidential information about acquisition

Sorry, Shaq—we don’t think all the Icy Hot in the world could soothe the pain of eight men who just got busted for insider trading.

Yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged eight men with participating in an insider-trading scheme that netted them half a million dollars on when they traded on confidential information concerning French drug company Sanofi-Aventis Inc.’s 2009 acquisition of Tennessee-based Chattem Inc., which makes the pain reliever Icy Hot, the allergy medicine Allegra and Gold Bond skin care products, among other items.

The SEC says Thomas D. Melvin Jr., a Georgia accountant, revealed confidential information about Sanofi’s acquisition to his friends after one of his clients, who was on Chattem’s board of directors, came to him for professional advice.

“It is particularly troubling when professionals like Melvin violate their professional obligations and breach a client’s trust by misusing confidential information,” William P. Hicks, associate director for enforcement in the SEC’s Atlanta regional office, said in the SEC’s press release. “These traders similarly jeopardized their reputations or careers by trading on information that was off-limits.”

Four of the men in the scheme have agreed to settle the charges and will pay back the money they made on their trades, plus interest and penalties, for a total of more than $175,000. Meanwhile, the SEC will continue its case against Melvin and the remaining men.

Read the New York Times and Thomson Reuters for more information.

Ashley Post

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