SEC Charges Former Vice President of Ocwen Financial Corporation with Insider Trading
Litigation Release No. 24298 / September 28, 2018
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bryan R. Ziegenfuse, No. 2:18-cv-04192-CMR (E.D. Pa. filed Sept. 28, 2018)
A former Vice President at Ocwen Financial Corporation has agreed to settle charges that he engaged in insider trading surrounding three separate events based on material nonpublic information obtained through his employment.
The SEC's complaint alleges that Bryan R. Ziegenfuse, the former Vice President of Servicing at Ocwen, traded in advance of the February 27, 2018 announcement that PHH Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Ocwen. According to the complaint, Ziegenfuse was privy to merger discussions and was copied on emails leading up to the merger announcement. The merger announcement triggered a 24% increase in PHH's stock price from the prior day's closing price. Ziegenfuse purchased shares and options in a family member's account in advance of the announcement, earning an illicit profit of $36,310. The complaint alleges that, in addition to Ziegenfuse's trading in PHH, Ziegenfuse used material nonpublic information obtained through his employment to trade in advance of two additional public announcements that impacted the share price of Ocwen and an Ocwen service provider, ASPS. According to the complaint, Ziegenfuse made $64,065 total in illegal profits.
Without admitting or denying the allegations, Ziegenfuse agreed to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from future violations of the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Ziegenfuse will disgorge his ill-gotten gains plus interest and pay a penalty equal to the disgorgement amount.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Katie E. Hopkins and John S. Rymas with litigation assistance from Christopher Kelly. The case was supervised by Assunta Vivolo and Kelly L. Gibson. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.