April 5, 2019

SEC issues cease-and-desist order in Whole Foods insider trading case

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has issued cease-and-desist order in the matter of Tai-Cheng Yang, a resident of New Jersey, for trading in the Securities of Whole Foods Market, Inc. based on material non-public information, in violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act,  15 USC §§78j(b), and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The SEC found that on June 9, 2017, Yang learned from his wife, whose relative was assisting Amazon.com, Inc. with its acquisition of Whole Foods, that the transaction was imminent; he thereafter purchased Whole Foods call options totaling $47,143.45.  The SEC further found that Yang realized a 29% profit a few days later when Whole Foods announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Amazon, and that Yang had breached the duty of trust or confidence that he owed to his wife.

Yang agreed to pay disgorgement of $27,761.55, prejudgment interest of $1,563.52, and a civil money penalty of $27,761.55.

Cease and Desist Order