Cheng Yi Liang is a 57 year-old chemist employed by the FDA. One thing he picked up on over the years? That there’s a lot of cheddar to be made off drug companies. Particularly if one’s got information ahead of the masses, which CYL did. And why should his position preclude him from putting money to work in the sector, Liang probably asked himself? It shouldn’t which is why he set up seven different brokerage accounts and started making some pretty profitable trades based on his ‘edge,’ and is also why the SEC and the DOJ are now on his ass.

Cheng Yi Liang, 57, made trades involving 19 companies from as early as July 2006 in advance of at least 27 announcements of FDA decisions on drug applications, the SEC said in a lawsuit filed today at U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland. The chemist, who worked for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, violated his duty as a federal employee not to engage in financial transactions using nonpublic government information and not to use such information for his personal benefit, according to the SEC, which is seeking disgorgement of illegal profits and unspecified fines.

Liang profited from share purchases ahead of 19 positive announcements and on short sales before six negative decisions, the SEC said in its suit. He also avoided losses by selling stock before two other negative announcements, the agency said. Rather than use his own or his wife’s brokerage accounts, Liang directed the trading through seven accounts held by other people, the SEC said. Most of the proceeds were transferred to Liang’s bank account, according to the lawsuit.

SEC Says FDA Chemist Reaped 3.6 Million From Insider Trades [Bloomberg]

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Comments (26)

  1. Posted by guest | March 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    “Keep feeding the masses chum…makes for a lot of splashy headlines to keep them focused on while we carry on raping them in the a$$.”

    -Conspiracy Theory Guy

  2. Posted by Anonymous | March 29, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon…

  3. Posted by Anonymous | March 29, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon…

  4. Posted by Fafa | March 29, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Cha-Cheng?

  5. Posted by Proxyguy | March 29, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Suspended WITH pay, likely….Pension unaffected…I get an alert on these SEC prosecutions as they happen and it seems to me like only ONE TRADE is enough to jerk a civilian / NASD member from his chair and send him to play hide the soap at club fed, whereas Cheng blew out 27 trades from 2006 till today unnoticed. I say where there’s smoke there’s FIRE, but the Gub’ment is too busy demonizing us fat cats and wiretapping every hfund on the street to watch their own store. Cheng’s only mistake: Should have left after the Vanda score…he could have bought half of manchuria with bank like that, and he had all the time in the world to sashay on out of the country clean. I’m betting his coworkers are noticing that.

  6. Posted by Proxyguy | March 29, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Suspended WITH pay, likely….Pension unaffected…I get an alert on these SEC prosecutions as they happen and it seems to me like only ONE TRADE is enough to jerk a civilian / NASD member from his chair and send him to play hide the soap at club fed, whereas Cheng blew out 27 trades from 2006 till today unnoticed. I say where there’s smoke there’s FIRE, but the Gub’ment is too busy demonizing us fat cats and wiretapping every hfund on the street to watch their own store. Cheng’s only mistake: Should have left after the Vanda score…he could have bought half of manchuria with bank like that, and he had all the time in the world to sashay on out of the country clean. I’m betting his coworkers are noticing that.

  7. Posted by Jim "Cramer" Jones | March 29, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Once you realize that there’s at least two sets of rules in this country and drink the Kool-Aid offered up daily, it all gets easier.

  8. Posted by Adam5 | March 29, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    yet another asiatic, why are these people being allowed into the united states ?

  9. Posted by Proxyguy | March 29, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    My evil overlords have restricted me to drinking whatever drips off the pipes down here in the boiler room.

  10. Posted by fix is in(come) | March 29, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    On a reluctantly semi-serious note, how have we not applied the “good moral character” clause of the naturalization process to future behavior and just started deporting all these guys?

    - Guy who examined his motives but is still convinced his co-worker Shui (John) probably plagiarized his thesis

  11. Posted by fix is in(come) | March 29, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    On a reluctantly semi-serious note, how have we not applied the “good moral character” clause of the naturalization process to future behavior and just started deporting all these guys?

    - Guy who examined his motives but is still convinced his co-worker Shui (John) probably plagiarized his thesis

  12. Posted by Texashedge | March 29, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    $3.6 million over four years? I think it’s safe to say that his side job was working for the FDA.

  13. Posted by Guest | March 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Came out of SAC, do not do insider trading, still makes 100%+ last year.
    Give it up, you bitches.

    - PJ

  14. Posted by RZL Wang | March 29, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    The only problem here is, he make more money than his boss from inside trading, which pissed his boss, i guess.

  15. Posted by Guest | March 30, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    That’s it? Those stocks shoot up 10x. Having insider info and only making 3.6 MM is not the nki.

  16. Posted by Guest | March 31, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    The differences between Liang and Goldman sachs is that Liang knew the confidential information, bet the stock price would rise and got sued for insider trading while Goldman sachs bet the oil price would go up, created the news(air-striked Libya) and received huge bonus and government bailout.

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