U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23202 / February 19, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Scott Zeringue and Jesse Roberts, III, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-00405 (W.D. Louisiana, filed February 18, 2015)
SEC Charges Brothers-In-Law in Louisiana with Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana alleging that two Louisiana men, Scott Zeringue and Jesse Roberts, III, engaged in insider trading in the securities of The Shaw Group, Inc. ("Shaw") ahead of a public announcement that Shaw was going to be acquired by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. ("CBI").
The SEC alleges that while serving as vice president of construction operations at Baton Rouge-based Shaw in the summer of 2012, Zeringue traded company securities based on confidential information he learned on the job about an impending acquisition by CBI. In the weeks leading up to the public announcement of the merger, Zeringue purchased 125 shares of Shaw common stock and asked his brother-in-law, Jesse Roberts III, a dentist who lives in Ruston, Louisiana, to also purchase Shaw stock on his behalf. Roberts reaped more than $765,000 through his illicit trading of call option contracts, and others made more than $154,000 based on his tips. Roberts rewarded Zeringue for the original tip by giving him $30,000 in cash in November 2013. The SEC's complaint charges Zeringue and Roberts with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
Zeringue, who previously pled guilty to criminal charges related to the conduct alleged in the complaint, consented to a final judgment in the SEC's action imposing an injunction, ordering disgorgement of $32,006 and a civil penalty of $64,012, and prohibiting him from acting as an office or director of a public company for 10 years. Zeringue's settlement is subject to court approval.
The SEC's continuing investigation is being conducted by Louis J. Gicale, Jr. and Roger Paszamant under the supervision of Melissa A. Robertson. The SEC's litigation against Roberts will be led by Derek Bentsen.
The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.