Ex-Takeda Executive Committed Insider Trading, SEC Claims

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- A former Takeda Pharmaceutical International Inc. executive was accused of using inside information to make more than $63,000 trading in call options, according a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Brent Bankosky, a former director in Takeda’s business development group, used non-public information to trade in advance of Takeda’s announcement of transactions involving Cell Genesys Inc. and Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., the SEC said in a civil complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court.

Bankosky, 41, also traded on information about confidential discussions between Takeda and two other drug companies, Arena Pharmaceutical Inc. and AMAG Pharmaceutical Inc., according to the agency. Bankosky failed to profit from his trades in those companies’ securities, the SEC said.

“Brent Bankosky was entrusted with highly confidential information of Takeda and betrayed that trust to line his own pocket,” George Canellos, director of the SEC’s New York office, said in a statement today. “His is another cautionary tale of an employee who succumbed to greed and the delusion that he wouldn’t get caught.”

Partial Settlement

Bankosky has agreed to a partial settlement of the suit without admitting or denying the SEC allegations, said his lawyer, Robert Heim. Bankosky will contest the SEC request for an order barring him from acting as an officer or director of a public company, Heim said.

Bankosky agreed to pay more than $136,000 in the partial settlement, the SEC said.

Kara Hoeger, a spokeswoman for Osaka, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s North American unit, said in a statement that the company is cooperating with the SEC. Takeda has a training program that instructs employees in the company’s policies against insider trading, she said in the statement.

Bankosky resigned from Takeda in May, according to the SEC complaint.

The case is SEC v. Bankosky, 12-CV-1012, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in Manhattan federal court at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net