Ex-Qualcomm Executive Pleads Guilty to Making about $200,000 from Insider Trading
A former Qualcomm Inc. executive has pleaded guilty to insider trading, according to state officials. Derek Cohen, 52, who was a sales director at San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., is said to have been involved in insider trading that took place prior to Qualcomm’s 2011 acquisition of global semiconductor firm, Atheros Communications. Cohen is the Qualcomm’s fourth veteran who has been charged for insider selling related to the acquisition.
The event took place when Cohen and others learned that Qualcomm planned to acquire Atheros Communications. The ex-director bought 10,400 shares of the semiconductor manufacturer, hours before news of the pending $3.1 billion acquisition deal, and then sold it later that month after the acquisiton news had sent share prices soaring. He is believed to have pocketed about $200,000 in proceeds from fraudulent dealings.
Cohen has now admitted to charges of being indulged in series of trades of options and stocks, and entered the plea in federal court on Thurday. According to the prosecutors, the accused could face maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22.
Among other three ex-executives who had earlier admitted guilt in connection with the deal, include the former sales director Robert Herman. The veteran was pleaded guilty in July to making about $30,000 from insider trading. He was was sentenced to three years probation with a $50,000 fine and 1,500 hours of community service.
Michael Fleischli, who is said to have made $3,000 from insider trading, was charged in May 2014. He is currently under three years of probation-like supervision.
Another former executive, Jing Wang, who served as president of Qualcomm’s global operations, pleaded guilty to money laundering and insider trading in July. He reportedly pocketed about $240,000 from trading Atheros stock through a secret brokerage account. Wang’s sentence hearing has yet to be scheduled.
The US chip maker seems to be swimming in hot water at present. Apart from this unfortunate predicament, the company has recently been fined around $1 billion in China for violating the country’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML), and is still facing an antitrust probe in South Korea. If that is something not that serious for the world’s second largest chipmaker, there is another pressing concern which has already lost it one of its big customers.
Samsung has reportedly dropped Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful Snapdragon 810 from its Galaxy S6 due to overheating and performance issues. Well that is some serious issue, and Qualcomm is said to be working on an updated version of 810 SoC.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.