U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 17518 / May 14, 2002
United States v. Keith Joon Kim, CR-01-0193 CRB (N.D. Cal.)
KEITH JOON KIM, VENTURE CAPITALIST, CONVICTED OF MAKING FALSE STATEMENT TO THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
On May 7, 2002, following a jury trial before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, a verdict was returned finding Keith Joon Kim guilty of one count of making a false statement to a federal government agency, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The false statement was made to the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission in response to the staff's questions regarding Kim's trading in the securities of Meridian Data, Inc. ("Meridian"). Kim's trading took place in the context of a March 1999 Snowmass, Colorado retreat of the Young Presidents' Organization ("YPO"), an international organization comprised of company presidents under the age of fifty whose members meet in small groups, or "forums," to discuss confidential personal and business matters with their peers. Meridian's CEO at the time and Kim were both YPO members who belonged to the "1917 Forum" and were both scheduled to attend the Snowmass retreat. YPO members are expected to be present at all forum meetings. While on board a private plane en route to the retreat, the YPO forum's moderator announced that Meridian's CEO could not attend the retreat because he was in merger negotiations with Quantum Corporation ("Quantum"). Immediately upon his arrival in Snowmass, Kim began a series of purchases of Meridian common stock -- ultimately purchasing 187,300 shares between March 1 and March 4. Kim made his purchases ahead of the May 11, 1999, public announcement that Quantum would acquire Meridian, and thereby made a profit of $832,877 on his March Meridian trades.
The indictment charging Kim with making false statements to the SEC alleged that Kim "falsely told the SEC that he did not know the reason why the CEO of Meridian failed to attend the 1917 Forum retreat to Snowmass, Colorado, on March 1, 1999." The jury found Kim guilty with regard to that allegation. The indictment also alleged that Kim "falsely told the SEC that he purchased Meridian shares in March 1999 on the basis of a March 1, 1999, Wall Street Journal article regarding Quantum." The jury found Kim not guilty with regard to that allegation. The District Court set a sentencing hearing date of September 11, 2002, for Kim.
See Litigation Rel. No. 16872 (Jan. 29, 2001).