A former high-ranking executive of US computer chip giant Qualcomm has been fined USD 500,000 and sentenced to 18 months in prison for insider trading, US officials said.
Jing Wang, 52, the former executive vice president and president of global business operations at Qualcomm pleaded guilty last July to insider trading charges, including trades on a 2011 deal for Atheros Communications, said the Justice Department.
He had also pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of his insider trading using an offshore shell company.
“Jing Wang gained unique access to information about the company’s earnings and intended acquisitions and illegally exploited that inside information for personal gain,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement.
Wang, of Del Mar, California, committed insider trading on three separate occasions over a 10-month period in 2010 and 2011, prosecutors said.
“Jing Wang was a powerful insider at one of the world’s top corporations — but he threw it all away to make a few hundred thousand dollars,” said US Attorney Laura Duffy of the Southern District of California.
In early 2010, Wang bought around USD 277,000 of Qualcomm stock prior to the company’s unexpected announcement of a dividend increase and stock repurchase program.
Then in December 2010, while he was in Hong Kong, Wang purchased Atheros stock hours after Qualcomm’s board approved an offer for Atheros that had not been made public.
A few weeks later, in January 2011, Wang directed his stock broker to sell the Atheros stock in a brokerage account held in the name of an offshore entity and used the proceeds to purchase Qualcomm stock, one day before the firm announced record earnings results.
Wang “was sentenced today to 18 months in prison and fined USD 500,000,” the Justice Department said yesterday.
It added that Wang conspired with his brother, Bing Wang, and his stock broker, Gary Yin, to fabricate evidence and concoct a false cover story for the trades.
Bing Wang is wanted on an international arrest warrant, the Justice Department said.
Yin has pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice and launder money, and will be sentenced on July 17.