U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22550 / November 29, 2012
SEC v. John H. Pamplin, Jr., Civil Action No. 1:12-CV-04136-JEC (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia)
On November 29, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged John H. Pamplin, Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee with insider trading in the securities of TurboChef Technologies, Inc. (“TurboChef”). According to the complaint, Pamplin was the Chief Information Officer for Atlanta-based TurboChef until March 2008, when TurboChef terminated him. Through his relationships with current and former TurboChef employees, Pamplin gained access to material nonpublic information regarding TurboChef’s pending acquisition by The Middleby Corporation of Elgin, Illinois. The SEC alleges that Pamplin repeatedly pressed several of his former coworkers for information on the progress of the proposed acquisition and, based on the information he learned, liquidated more than 6,000 shares of TurboChef common stock and used those proceeds and most of his liquid assets to buy more than $100,000 of out-of-the-money TurboChef call options with near term expirations. Pamplin’s options trading resulted in a profit of $68,000─six times the profit he would have earned had he merely held his TurboChef common shares─when the shares rose in the wake of the August 12, 2008 acquisition announcement.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Pamplin violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, which prohibit trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. The SEC is seeking permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted in the Atlanta Regional Office by Justin Jefferies, supervised by Steve Donahue, following a referral from the Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority. Pat Huddleston will litigate the case.