U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23786 / March 23, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Steven A. Hartung, Civil Action No. 17 CV 01307 (E.D. Pa. filed Mar. 23, 2017)
Relative Tipped by Pharma Company Insider Agrees to Settle Insider Trading Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a Williamsport, Pennsylvania man has agreed to pay nearly $123,000 to settle charges that he traded on material nonpublic information in advance of Merck & Co.'s June 9, 2014 announcement that it would acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. through a tender offer.
In the complaint filed today in federal district court in Philadelphia, the SEC alleges that Steven A. Hartung was tipped material nonpublic information about the potential acquisition by a relative who worked at Merck. The complaint alleges that after learning about the potential deal, Hartung bought a total of 3,345 shares of Idenix. After the deal was announced, Hartung sold the stock for total profits of $59,688.
Hartung is charged with violating Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3 thereunder. To resolve these charges, Hartung, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, has agreed to the entry of a court order permanently enjoining him from future violations, requiring him to disgorge all of his ill-gotten gains of $59,688, and to pay prejudgment interest of $3,210, and a one-time civil penalty of $59,688. The settlement is subject to court approval.
The SEC's investigation has been conducted by David W. Snyder and Kelly L. Gibson of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit, with assistance from John Rymas of the Market Abuse Unit's Analysis and Detection Center. Joseph G. Sansone, Co-Chief of the Market Abuse Unit, supervised the matter.