As the courts—including the highest in the land—have repeatedly made clear, love is no defense against insider-trading allegations. This is all the more true when the loving gift of material non-public information is made in hopes that its recipient will use it well enough to repay an outstanding debt between roommates and lovers.
In December 2019, [Usama] Malik wired about $65,000 to [Lauren] Wood, according to a criminal complaint filed in a federal court in New Jersey. On or about that same day, which was around the time Ms. Wood left Immunomedics, she exercised her stock options, using the money to help her purchase about $73,000 in the company’s shares, according to the complaint.
In April 2020, Mr. Malik learned of the FDA’s decision [to allow Immunomedics to move ahead with a breast-cancer drug] and passed the information to Ms. Wood in a nine-second phone call, the criminal complaint said. The same day, Ms. Wood bought about $64,000 in Immunomedics stock, ultimately realizing more than $213,000 in profit.
In May 2020, Ms. Wood wrote a check to Mr. Malik for $65,000, mirroring the amount that he had paid her in December 2019. In the check’s memo line, she wrote “Home,” the complaint said.
Come on, Usama: These are the sorts of things that are bound to come up after you (allegedly) lie to FINRA about the whole thing, especially since that whole thing allegedly included tips to family members, as well.
Malik failed to disclose his relationship with Wood when asked during an inquiry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and falsely claimed he did not communicate with her, according to the SEC’s complaint.
Anyway, it’s all very bad for one’s career, to say nothing of one’s hopes to not spend several decades in prison and avoid fines several orders of magnitude in excess of $65,000.
Fore Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on cancer drugs, said Thursday that it had fired Mr. Malik as its chief executive…. The count of securities fraud carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
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