An ex-president of Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)’s global business operations was charged with taking part in an insider-trading scheme involving shares of the mobile-phone chipmaker as well as those of a company Qualcomm bought in 2011.
Jing Wang, 51, a former executive vice president, is accused of securities fraud, money laundering and identity theft, among other charges, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in San Diego said in a statement today. Wang faces as long as 20 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.
In a separate lawsuit filed today in San Diego, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Wang made at least $244,000 from his illegal trades. He resigned from San Diego-based Qualcomm in May after having been on administrative leave for about a year, according to the complaint.
Wang and his financial adviser, Gary Yin, 54, have been friends and members of the same church since 2005, the SEC said. Yin, who worked at Merrill Lynch & Co. in San Diego until April, made about $27,000 from the trades, according to the complaint. Yin was also charged with conspiracy.
Wang pleaded not guilty at a court hearing today, Kelly Thornton, a spokeswoman for Duffy, said in in an e-mail. He’ll be released on $3 million bond tomorrow, Thornton said.
Among the inside information Wang and Yin used was Qualcomm’s planned acquisition of Atheros Communications Inc. in December 2010, the SEC said. Wang asked Yin to attribute the Atheros trades to Wang’s brother in China because he was worried they would be detected, according to the SEC.
Wang’s brother, Bing Wang, was also charged, the U.S. attorney said. A warrant has been issued for the brother, who prosecutors believe lives in China, according to the statement.
“Wang and Yin went to extraordinary lengths to conceal their trading and cover it up afterwards, but despite their expansive efforts they still wound up in law enforcement’s crosshairs,” Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles office, said in a statement.
Andrew Ow, a lawyer for Wang, said in a phone interview that he hadn’t reviewed the indictment and couldn’t comment on the allegations. Yin’s lawyer, Frank Vecchione, didn’t immediately respond a call to his office seeking comment on the charges.
“Qualcomm has been aware of the investigation and has been cooperating fully with the government’s investigation,” Qualcomm General Counsel Don Rosenberg said in an e-mailed statement. “This is an individual matter involving Mr. Wang, who is no longer employed by Qualcomm, and this matter will now be addressed through the legal system.”
The criminal case is U.S. v. Wang, 13-cr-03487, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego). The civil case is SEC v. Wang and Yin, 13-cv-02270, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).
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