The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a former Amazon finance manager with insider trading. 

On Monday, the regulatory watchdog said that from at least January 2016 to July 2018, Laksha Bohra conducted securities trading based on confidential information she had access to as a member of the e-commerce giant’s tax department. 

The senior manager was involved in preparing and reviewing financial statements included in Amazon’s quarterly earnings. Bohra allegedly leveraged this knowledge to play the market in what is known as insider trading in order to reap “illicit profits,” according to SEC.

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36-year-old Bohra not only played this game herself but also allegedly tipped off members of her family, including her father-in-law and husband. 

“Bohra disregarded quarterly reminders prohibiting her from passing material nonpublic information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities,” SEC’s complaint reads. 

If an individual has access to pre-release financial information, they may be able to buy or sell stocks and shares based on predictions of what will happen to a company’s share prices. For example, profits may send stock prices upward, whereas the disclosure of losses or lawsuits can cause a share price slump.

In total, over the course of roughly two years, the former manager and her family traded in 11 separate brokerage accounts, earning themselves roughly $1.4 million. Bohra’s father-in-law reportedly told one of the brokerage firms used that the accounts were treated as a “one family thing.”

“Amazon considered [..] pre-release financial information to be confidential, highly sensitive, material, and nonpublic,” the US agency says, adding in the complaint that Amazon has previously demonstrated a “zero tolerance” stance on insider trading. 

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Amazon suspended Bohra’s employment in

A former senior manager in Amazon’s tax department has been charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Laksha Bohra allegedly acquired confidential information while she prepared and reviewed calculations used to formulate Amazon’s quarterly and annual earnings filed with the SEC between January 2016 and July 2018, according to a news release from the agency on Monday.

Bohra is accused of tipping information about Amazon’s financial performance to her husband, Viky Bohra. The complaint alleges that Viky Bohra and his father, Gotham Bohra, traded on the information in 11 separate accounts maintained by different members of the Bohra family.

Laksha Bohra is also said to have “disregarded quarterly reminders prohibiting her from passing material nonpublic information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities.” The family allegedly made $1.4 million in profits from the unlawful trading.

“We allege that the Bohras repeatedly and systematically used Amazon’s confidential information for their own gain,” Erin Schneider, director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, said in a statement. “Employees with access to confidential, potentially market-moving corporate information may not use that information to enrich themselves, their friends, or their families.”

The complaint filed in federal court in Seattle charges all three Bohras with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The three have consented to the entry of final judgments permanently enjoining them from further violations of the charged provisions, and ordering them to pay total disgorgement of $1,428,094, total prejudgment interest of $118,406, and total penalties of $1,106,399.

Amazon told GeekWire that it does not comment on active litigation.

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