SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Research Scientist Charged with Insider Trading

Litigation Release No. 24225 / August 3, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Fei Yan, et al., No. 17-cv-5257 (S.D.N.Y. filed July 12, 2017)

The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a final judgment against the research scientist who, according to the SEC, searched the internet for tips on avoiding the SEC's detection before placing one of his illegal trades and made approximately $120,000 through insider trading.

In its complaint, filed on July 12, 2017, the SEC alleged that Fei Yan purchased stocks and options in advance of two corporate acquisitions based on confidential information obtained from his wife, an associate at a law firm that worked on the deals. According to the SEC's complaint, Yan then sold his holdings following public announcements that the issuers would be acquired by other companies. Yan then allegedly attempted to conceal his illegal activity by placing the illicit trades in a brokerage account bearing the name of his mother, who lives in China.

Yan agreed to settle with the SEC and consented to the entry of a judgment permanently enjoining him from violating Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3 thereunder, and ordering him liable for disgorgement of $119,429, the payment of which is deemed satisfied by the forfeiture ordered in a parallel criminal case. Yan, who pled guilty in that case, is serving a 15-month sentence of imprisonment. The final judgment was entered on July 12, 2018 by the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Joshua R. Geller, John Rymas, and Simona Suh of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit and by Jacqueline A. Fine of the New York Regional Office. The case was supervised by Joseph G. Sansone, Chief of the Market Abuse Unit. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York Field Office, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.