U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17203 / October 24, 2001
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Hahn Truong, Hieu Truong, Hen Truong, Nina Vinh, Mike Pirbazari and Christopher Nguyen, Civil Action No. C-98-21137 SW (N.D. Cal.)
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced that it has settled its pending insider trading action against the two remaining defendants, Hen Truong ("Hen") and Hanh Truong ("Hanh"). Hen and Hanh, who are brothers, were charged with insider trading in the securities of Molecular Dynamics, Inc. ("Molecular"), a Northern California-based company.
On October 9, 2001, U.S. District Judge William A. Ingram of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered a final judgment of permanent injunction and other relief against Hen. The judgment permanently enjoins Hen from future violations of the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5. The final judgment also orders Hen to disgorge $66,250 in ill-gotten gains from his short selling of 15,000 shares of Molecular stock on March 23 and 24, 1994, plus prejudgment and postjudgment interest totaling $26,562, and a civil penalty of $66,250. The Commission's complaint alleged that the short sales took place in Hen's newly-opened account at McLaughlin Capital ("McLaughlin"). The complaint further alleged that these sales were based upon material non-public information that Hanh tipped to Hen regarding Molecular's weak earnings and were financed by Hanh pursuant to a profit-sharing arrangement with Hen.
Previously, on August 6, 2001, the Court entered a final judgment against Hanh, permanently enjoining him from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. Hanh was ordered to disgorge $66,250, but disgorgement was waived and a civil penalty was not assessed against him based upon his demonstrated inability to pay.
The Commission's complaint, filed on November 16, 1998, alleged that in March 1994, Hahn used confidential corporate information in selling shares in his then-employer, Molecular, and tipped, among others, Hen, who then sold all of his Molecular shares and sold short additional Molecular shares from March 17 through March 24, 1994. On April 12, 2000, the Court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Hanh and Hen with respect to any Molecular trading that occurred before March 22, 1994. The Court also granted summary judgment in favor of co-defendants Hieu Truong and Christopher Nguyen. However, the Court denied summary judgment with respect to Hen's short sale of 15,000 Molecular shares on March 23 and 24, 1994 in his McLaughlin account. Hahn and Hen consented to the entry of their final -judgments without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations with respect to the short sales in the McLaughlin account. Previously, the Commission obtained judgments against defendants Nina Vinh, Hieu Truong's sister-in-law, and Mike Pirbazari, Nina's friend.