The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a Basel based Swiss trader has agreed to pay more than $2.8m to settle charges that he traded on nonpublic information ahead of a Florida-based biometrics company’s acquisition by Apple Inc.
An SEC investigation unearthed evidence that Helmut Anscheringer purchased stock and call options in AuthenTec Inc (which provides fingerprint sensors and software for use in electronic devices) having learnt from a friend related to an AuthenTec executive that Apple proposed to buy the company.
The call options accounted for nearly all of the series volume on the days he purchased them. Just days later, AuthenTec publicly announced that it had agreed to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple for $355m in cash. The positive news led to the stock price closing approximately 60% higher than the previous day. Through his unlawful trading, Anscheringer garnered more than $1.8m in illicit profits.