SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Tech Employee Charged with Insider Trading

Litigation Release No. 25403 / June 1, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mohammed Pithapurwala, Ammar Kutiyanawalla, and Alifiya Kutiyanawalla, No. 2:21-cv-09384 (C.D. Cal. filed December 3, 2021)

On May 27, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against former Snap Inc. engineer Mohammed "Mo" Pithapurwala and his wife Alifiya Kutiyanawalla.

The SEC's complaint, filed on December 3, 2021 in federal district court in Los Angeles, alleged that Pithapurwala unlawfully tipped his brother-in-law, Ammar Kutiyanawalla, who purchased Snap options on the basis of material nonpublic information ahead of the company's February 6, 2018 earnings announcement. As alleged in the complaint, Pithapurwala and Alifiya funded Ammar's Snap trading by transferring $20,000 to Ammar through intermediaries, and Ammar and Pithapurwala agreed to share the profits. The SEC charged Alifiya, who is Ammar's sister, with aiding and abetting the insider trading.

Pithapurwala and Alifiya consented to the entry of a judgment permanently enjoining them from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Pithapurwala agreed to pay a civil penalty of $523,031, and Alifiya agreed to pay a civil penalty of $75,000.

The SEC's litigation is being led by Lynn M. Dean and supervised by Jennifer C. Barry of the Los Angeles Regional Office. The investigation was conducted by Colleen M. Keating and supervised by Diana K. Tani.