U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19625 / March 28, 2006
SEC v. Alexander J. Yaroshinsky, Civil Action No. 06CV2401 (S.D.N.Y., filed March 28, 2006)
SEC Charges California Drug Executive with Insider Trading After Learning of the FDA's Reaction to Cancer Tests of Company's Acne Drug
Court freezes assets of drug executive at Connetics Corp. who orchestrated intricate stock-selling scheme before price fell 27%
On March 28, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Alexander J. Yaroshinsky, a Vice President at Palo Alto, California-based Connetics Corp., charging him with illegally trading on the basis of non-public, inside information after learning the FDA's preliminary reactions to a study relating to cancer tests of its acne drug. At the Commission's request, the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey issued an order freezing Yaroshinsky's assets, temporarily restraining him from further violations, and granting other emergency relief.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Yaroshinsky, who participated in tests which led the FDA to ultimately conclude that the drug was "unsafe for use," learned the FDA's preliminary views with respect to the cancer tests in an April 13, 2005 call with the FDA. Shortly thereafter, Yaroshinsky positioned himself to profit from a fall in the price of Connetics' stock. In accounts he controlled, Yaroshinsky sold 15,100 previously acquired Connetics shares, and bought 2,076 put contracts which gave him the right to sell Connetics shares at a fixed price and profit when the shares fell below that price. Ultimately, on June 13, 2005, when news of the non-approval was made public, Connetics' share price fell 27% and Yaroshinsky reaped a benefit of at least $680,000.
The complaint charges Yaroshinsky with violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, specifically Section 10(b) and rule 10-b5 thereunder, and seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties.
The Commission would like to acknowledge the assistance of Chicago Board Options Exchange.