December 2, 2020

SEC obtains default judgment against Swiss national charged with insider trading

On December 2, 2020, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a default judgment against Roland Mathys, finding him liable for insider trading violations as alleged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in an action initiated on January 26, 2018.  The case arose out of Mathys’ alleged illicit trades based on material non-public information communicated to Mathys by the son of a Sanofi S.A. executive knowledgeable about the company’s imminent acquisition of Bioverativ, Inc.

The judgment permanently enjoins Mathys, who has not made any appearance in the lawsuit, from violating Section 14(e) of the Exchange Act and Rule 14e-3 thereunder (15 U.S.C. § 78n(e) and 17 C.F.R. § 240.14e-3, respectively), and imposes a civil penalty of $9,889,369.28, equal to twice the amount of profits obtained by the illicit trades.  In determining the penalty amount, the judge rejected the SEC’s request for a penalty equal to treble the amount of Mathys’ profits “in view of the relatively brief period of time involved in the unlawful activity.”  At the same time, the court ordered the release of assets frozen following the initial filing of the civil action and forfeiture claims in January 2018.

The criminal indictment filed against Mathys in June 2019 based on the same conduct remains open.