MIT research scientist pleads guilty to insider trading

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A analysis scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Know-how pleaded responsible on Monday to expenses that he engaged in insider buying and selling based mostly on info he obtained from his spouse, a company lawyer engaged on a deal involving a mining firm

Fei Yan pleaded responsible earlier than U.S. District Decide Katherine Forrest in Manhattan and is scheduled to be sentenced by Forrest on March 2, prosecutors stated.

Yan, a Chinese language nationwide, was arrested in Massachusetts in July. Federal prosecutors accused him of buying choices to purchase inventory of Stillwater Mining, based mostly on insider details about South Africa’s Sibanye Gold Ltd’s deliberate $2.2 billion acquisition of Stillwater. Yan made greater than $one hundred,000 from the sale of the choices, prosecutors stated.

Authorities stated the insider info got here from Yan’s spouse, an affiliate at a company regulation agency.

The London-based mostly worldwide regulation agency Linklaters confirmed in July that it had employed the affiliate and stated it was cooperating with the investigation. Linklaters spokeswoman Melissa Chiles stated on Monday the affiliate, who has not been recognized, was not on the agency.

MIT, the place Yan had been employed as a publish-doctoral affiliate within the college’s Analysis Laboratory of Electronics, couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Monday. It couldn’t instantly be decided if Yan continues to be related to MIT.

Authorities stated that starting in August 2016, Yan’s spouse turned concerned in engaged on the Stillwater deal in her position as an affiliate within the New York workplaces of the regulation agency retained by Sibanye to symbolize it within the negotiations.

She continued to work on the deal via the time it was introduced in December 2016, in response to the felony grievance in Manhattan federal courtroom.

By then, Yan had purchased a whole lot of Stillwater inventory choices utilizing a brokerage account he established within the identify of his mom in China, the legal grievance stated.

Shortly earlier than the deal was introduced, Yan carried out on-line analysis associated to insider buying and selling, looking for how the Securities and Change Fee detects uncommon buying and selling and accessing a number of articles about insider buying and selling, the grievance stated.

After the businesses introduced their proposed merger on Dec. 9, Yan started promoting the Stillwater choices he had bought, making a revenue of $109,420, authorities stated.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Modifying by Leslie Adler

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