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Nvidia Manager's Tips Led to Illegal Trades, SEC Says

A former Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) accounting manager agreed to pay $30,000 to resolve U.S. regulatory claims that his tips to a friend led to millions of dollars in illicit gains for hedge-fund traders, including Sigma Capital Management, an affiliate of SAC Capital Advisors LP.

Chris Choi, while employed by Nvidia, routinely gave his friend Hyung Lim nonpublic information about the company’s revenue and profit margin before quarterly earnings announcements, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a complaint filed today at federal court in Manhattan.

Lim relayed Choi’s information to Danny Kuo, a fellow poker player who worked at Whittier Trust Company. Kuo traded on the inside information and passed it along to analysts at other firms including Diamondback Capital Management, Level Global Investors LP, and Sigma Capital, the SEC said.

Choi’s tips allowed the hedge funds to earn about $16.5 million in illicit profits or avoided losses, according to the complaint.

Choi, who settled the claims without admitting or denying wrongdoing, also agreed to be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years. His attorney Douglas Schneider declined to comment.

Lim and Kuo have both pleaded guilty to related criminal charges.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Katz in Washington at akatz5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net Joshua Gallu

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