Bryan B. Long, a Virginia-licensed CPA who served as Director of SEC Reporting at PayPal Holdings, Inc. and its parent company, eBay, Inc., has been suspended from practicing as an accountant, and ordered to pay disgorgement and civil money penalties. In a complaint filed on September 28, 2018 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the SEC alleged that on two occasions Long bought speculative call options on Xoom Corporation stock in advance of PayPal’s planned acquisition of Xoom, based on material non-public information acquired in the course of Long’s employment, despite having received SEC training, certifying that he had read eBay’s insider trading agreement, and signing eBay’s Code of Business Conduct & Ethics, which prohibits the use of confidential information for stock trading purposes. According to the SEC, Long gained $35,842.49 in profits when he sold the Xoom options the day after PayPal’s announcement of the acquisition.
On May 7, 2019, an order was entered against Long requiring that he disgorge the profits gained from the alleged insider trades, pay a civil money penalty of $35,842.49 and prejudgment interest, and be permanently enjoined from future violations of Sections 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 5 U.S.C. §78j(b), and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5. On May 13, 2019, Long was suspended from practicing as an accountant before the SEC for at least three years, pursuant to Rule 102e of the SEC’s rules of practice.