Indian-American admits to insider trading

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A 36-year-old Indian-American from Bothell, Washington, pleaded guilty Nov. 5, 2020, in U.S. District Court in Seattle to securities fraud for his insider trading activity.

Viky Bohra admitted that between 2015 and 2018, he used Amazon inside information he obtained from his relative to place trades in Amazon stock–making a profit of $1,428,264.  Bohra is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on February 8, 2021.

Securities Fraud is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Under the terms of the plea agreement with Bohra however, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of no more than 33 months in prison, according to the press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Brian T. Moran.

As part of the plea agreement, Bohra’s relative will not face criminal charges.  The relative is no longer employed at Amazon, the press release noted.

According to the plea agreement, Bohra’s relative worked in the Amazon Finance Department and had access to confidential information regarding Amazon revenue and expenses.  Because of that work, the relative was subject to blackout periods during which no stock could be traded by the employee or her immediate relatives.

The employee also was advised of insider trading policies making it clear the responsibility to safeguard confidential financial information.

Despite those warnings, Bohra obtained confidential information from the relative and traded in Amazon stock in accounts tied to him and his father.

Trades occurred during blackout periods and, from 2015 to 2018, relied in part on information from his relative to make successful trades in advance of Amazon earnings announcements.

As part of the plea agreement, Bohra agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his trades, $1,428,264 to the government.

In addition, on September 28, 2020, Bohra was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a civil insider trading case.  The recoveries in that case will be credited toward the forfeiture owed to the United States government.

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