U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22921 / February 7, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Hao He a/k/a Jimmy He, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-00344-MHS (N.D. Ga.)
On February 6, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges against Hao He a/k/a Jimmy He alleging He purchased short-term put option contracts in the securities of Sina Corporation ("Sina"), a foreign private issuer headquartered in Shanghai, China.
The SEC's complaint, filed in the federal district court in Atlanta, Georgia, alleges that He, between October 10, 2012 and November 13, 2012, obtained material nonpublic information concerning Sina's upcoming, negative, future earnings guidance while visiting China and/or through phone calls to China. Based on this information, He purchased approximately $162,000 in short-term put options on November 13 and November 14, 2012, which contracts expired on November 17, 2012. Given the cost and nature of those trades, Sina's stock had to decline within a short time frame in order for He's trades to be profitable.
On November 15, 2012, Sina issued an announcement noting that it had beaten analyst forecasts for third quarter earnings, but also announced unexpected negative guidance for the fourth quarter of 2012. As a result of this negative guidance, analysts downgraded the stock and, upon opening on November 16, 2012, Sina's stock price declined approximately 8.5%, opening at $48.60 compared to the previous day's close of $53.10, and ultimately closed at $45.06.
Following the announcement and decline in the stock price, He sold all of his put option contracts on November 16, 2012 for $331,530.83, generating illicit profits of $169,819.10.
The SEC's complaint alleges that He violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
He has consented, without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations, to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; and requiring him to pay $169,819.10 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest of $6,155.36, and a penalty of $169,819.10. The settlement with He is subject to court approval.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Grant Mogan and Peter Diskin of the Atlanta Regional Office.