U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23625 / August 24, 2016
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cedric Cañas Maillard, Civil Action No. 15-cv-6380 (S.D.N.Y.)
Former Banco Santander Official Ordered to Pay More Than $1.1 Million for Insider Trading in Potash Call Options
The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a default judgment against a former high-ranking executive at Madrid-based Banco Santander, S.A. ("Santander") for trading based on material, nonpublic information about a proposed acquisition for which the Spanish investment bank was acting as an advisor and underwriter.
On August 20, 2016, the SEC obtained a final judgment against Cedric Cañas Maillard ("Cañas"), a Spanish citizen and former executive advisor to Santander's CEO. The SEC's complaint alleges that Cañas learned confidentially that the investment bank had been asked by one of the world's largest mining companies, BHP Billiton ("BHP"), to advise and help underwrite its proposed acquisition of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ("Potash"), one of the world's largest producers of fertilizer minerals. The SEC alleges that Cañas coordinated with a close friend to purchase Potash call options in a Switzerland-based brokerage account, of which Cañas was the sole beneficial owner, on August 16, 2010-the day before Potash announced that it had rejected BHP's acquisition bid. Potash stock rose more than 27% after that announcement, and Cañas sold the Potash call options three days after he purchased them for illicit net profits of $278,156.97, a gain of more than 1,400%.
The final judgment entered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on the SEC's motion for a default judgment, orders Cañas to disgorge $278,156.97 in ill-gotten gains from the illegal Potash trading plus prejudgment interest of $56,543.99. Cañas is also ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $834,470.91.
For further information see Litigation Release No. 23316 (Aug. 13, 2015).