In a final judgment issued on April 28, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts prohibited Mark J. Ahn from acting as an officer or director of any issuer covered by Section 12 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The consent judgment obtained by the US Securities and Exchange Commission against Ahn, an Oregon resident, also enjoins him from committing further violations of Section 10(b) of Exchange Act, 15 USC § 78j(b) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, 17 CFR § 240.10b-5. Pursuant to the judgment, the SEC may move for civil penalties.
Earlier, on March 2, 2021, Ahn pleaded guilty to two counts of securities fraud based on the misappropriation of material nonpublic information, in violation of 18 USC § 1348.
According to the facts as admitted, in 2017 Ahn was working as a consultant for Abeona Therapeutics, Inc., a New York-based biopharmaceutical company on whose board of directors Ahn had previously served. During the Spring of 2017, Ahn was involved in discussions within Abeona concerning the proposed acquisition of Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company based in Massachusetts that several companies were attempting to acquire. These discussions included three nondisclosure agreements between Abeona and Dimension, which included reminders about the parties’ obligations under US securities laws regarding the prohibition on purchasing or selling the securities of an issuer based on material, nonpublic information. Nevertheless, as described in the information, Ahn purchased approximately $38,891 worth of Dimension stock between July 21 and August 7, 2017 based on the confidential nonpublic information he learned during the acquisition discussions. Ultimately, Albeona did not acquire Dimension, but the company was acquired by a different bidder. Following the August 25, 2017 announcement of this acquisition, Ahn sold his Dimension shares, profiting by $48,874.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2021.