SEC Charges Former Legal Department Employee and His Father with Insider Trading
Litigation Release No. 24742 / February 20, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jon L. Aronson and Elliet N. Aronson,
1:20-cv-01323-JGK (S.D.N.Y. filed February 14, 2020)
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges on February 14, 2020 against a former employee in the legal department of a wholly-owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc., who used confidential information about an impending acquisition to unlawfully trade securities and to tip his father, who the SEC also charged with unlawfully trading.
The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Jon L. Aronson, of Massachusetts, learned through his employment that AIG was negotiating an acquisition of Validus Holdings, Ltd., an insurance company. According to the complaint, based on this information Jon Aronson purchased Validus shares and tipped his father, Elliet N. Aronson of Massachusetts, who also purchased shares. The complaint further alleges that Jon Aronson sold his shares and advised his father to do the same before the acquisition was announced, but Elliet Aronson opted to continue holding his shares, profiting $20,310 from his sales after the announcement.
The complaint charges Jon and Elliet Aronson with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Without admitting or denying the allegations set forth in the complaint, the defendants consented to a final judgments permanently enjoining them from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and ordering each of them to pay a penalty in the amount of $20,310. Elliet Aronson also agreed to pay $20,310 in disgorgement and $2,100 in prejudgment interest. The settlement is subject to court approval.
The SEC's investigation, which is ongoing, has been conducted by John J. Dempsey and Ryan Farney and supervised by Carolyn M. Welshhans and Nina B. Finston. The litigation will be led by Derek Bentsen under the supervision of Jan M. Folena. The SEC thanks the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for its assistance in this matter.