SEC Charges Two Canadian Software Engineers with Insider Trading

Litigation Release No. 25548 / October 3, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Harpreet Saini and John Lester Mandac Natividad, Case No. 2:22-cv-05788(D.N.J. filed September 30, 2022)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced insider trading charges against two Canadian software engineers who made $1.6 million by trading ahead of non-public, market-moving financial information.

According to the SEC's complaint, from at least May 2018 to July 2021, Harpreet Saini and John Lester Mandac Natividad, both of Ontario, were employed by a newswire distribution company specializing in corporate press releases, and had access to its internal press release distribution system that allowed them to preview headlines, times, and publication dates of forthcoming announcements. As alleged, Saini and Natividad collectively traded in advance of more than 1,600 announcements distributed by their employer and would routinely exit their positions after the market reacted to the news in the press releases.

The SEC's complaint, filed in the District of New Jersey, charges Saini and Natividad with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that Saini and Natividad have been charged with fraud and insider trading offenses under the Ontario Securities Act.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by David S. Brown with assistance from Darren Boerner and John S. Rymas of the Market Abuse Unit's Analysis and Detection Center. It was supervised by Marc J. Blau of the Los Angeles Regional Office. The litigation will be led by Stephen Kam and Gary Leung. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the OSC.