SEC Charges Former Corporate Officer for Insider Trading
Litigation Release No. 24222 / August 1, 2018
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Lozuk, No. 3:18-cv-01765-LAB-BGS (S.D. Cal., filed July 31, 2018)
A former Senior Vice President at Sequenom, Inc. ("Sequenom") has agreed to settle charges that he engaged in insider trading after tipping his friend about Laboratory Corporation of America Holding's ("LabCorp") bid to acquire Sequenom in a July 2016 tender offer.
The SEC's complaint alleges that Robert Lozuk, who was formerly Sequenom's Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, tipped his friend ("Individual A") about the pending acquisition during a social event they both attended a week before the public announcement. According to the complaint, Lozuk was not only subject to Sequenom's written policy and to certain obligations as an officer of the company, but he had also signed a confidentiality letter acknowledging his obligation not to disclose to anyone the company's plans. Nevertheless, Lozuk tipped Individual A, and over the next two trading days Individual A purchased a total of 18,000 Sequenom shares. On the date of the public announcement, Sequenom's stock price increased 176%, allowing Individual A to sell his shares that same day for a profit of over $26,000.
Without admitting or denying the allegations, Lozuk agreed to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from future violations of Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3 thereunder, and to a five-year bar prohibiting him from acting as an officer or director of a public company. Lozuk will pay a penalty of $26,643. Individual A, who provided timely and valuable assistance to the SEC's investigation, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement wherein he agreed to disgorge his ill-gotten gains of $26,643, and among other things, agreed not to violate the federal securities laws for the deferred period of two years.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Adrienne Gurley and supervised by Marc Blau. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.