Indian-descent Silicon Valley securities analyst charged with insider trading

New York: A young Silicon Valley investment banker of Indian descent and two of his friends have been charged with insider trading in a scheme that allegedly netted them more than $600,000, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell announced Tuesday.

J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Ashish Aggarwal and his friends,who surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and were arrested, face securities fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud charges, Caldwell said.

Aggarwal, 27, who worked in the JP Morgan San Francisco office, allegedly got inside information about upcoming mergers and acquisitions which he shared them with his friend Shahriyar Bolandian, 26. He in turn relayed them to another friend, and Kevan Sadigh, 28, the FBI said in a press release.

Bolandian and Sadigh then allegedly used the inside information to trade in advance of the public announcements of Integrated Device Technology Inc.'s April 2012 planned acquisition of PLX Technology Inc., and Salesforce.com Inc.'s June 2013 acquisition of ExactTarget Inc., the FBI said.

Their $600,000-profit apparently didn't finance luxuries. The FBI said they allegedly used the profits to pay off liabilities and cover the trading losses of Bolandian and Sadigh.

Aggarwal is the latest person of Indian origin to face insider trading charges in the US. Rajat Gupta, a former CEO of the consultancy company, McKinsey, is the best known of them and was convicted in 2012 for insider trading with Raj Rajaratnam, a hedge fund operator of Sri Lankan origin. Anil Kumar, a former McKinsey employee, pleaded guilty in the samw case.

In April this year, Amit Kanodia, a private equity investor, and Iftikar Ahmed, a general partner at a venture capital firm, were charged with insider trading. Attorney Shivbir Grewal and his wife, Preetinder Grewal, were charged last December with insider trading. Last September, hedge fund portfolio manager Matthew Martoma received a nine-year sentence for insider trading.

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