September 29, 2020

SEC charges finance manager and two family members with insider trading

On September 28, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Laksha Bohra, a former finance manager with Inc., and two of her family members with insider trading, for making trades based on Amazon’s quarterly and annual earnings, ahead of Amazon’s securities filings with the SEC from 2016 to 2018.  The complaint that was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle Division, alleges that Bohra, her husband, and her father-in-law earned almost $1.4 million for years of illegal trades.

According to the complaint, the Bohra family controlled 11 separate brokerage accounts held in the names of various members of the Bohra family.  Since Bohra was hired by Amazon in 2012, she was repeatedly informed of Amazon’s trading policy, receiving quarterly email reminders regarding the confidentiality of Amazon’s financial information, and her obligation to refrain from trading in Amazon securities while in possession of material nonpublic information.  However, in 2016 Bohra allegedly began sharing confidential information with her husband, who then worked with his father to trade Amazon stock and options, ahead of every single Amazon earnings announcement between January 2016 and July 2018.

All three defendants are charged with violating section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and have consented to the entry of final judgments that permanently enjoin them from further violations of these anti-fraud provisions.  They must also pay disgorgement totaling $1,428,094, prejudgment interest of $118,406, and civil penalties totaling $1,106,399.  

The SEC also reports that the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, filed a parallel action for criminal charges against Bohra’s husband.

SEC Press Release | SEC Complaint