Two men share securities regulation news

Breaking news and expert analysis on legal and compliance issues

[Back To Home][Back To Archives]

From Securities Regulation Daily, December 19, 2013

SEC charges Microsoft portfolio manager with insider trading

By Anne Sherry, J.D.

A SEC complaint alleges that Brian D. Jorgenson, a senior portfolio manager at Microsoft Corporation, and his friend and business partner profited by nearly $400,000 by trading ahead of company announcements. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district announced that parallel criminal charges have been filed against Jorgenson and Sean T. Stokke. The complaint alleges that Jorgenson tipped inside information to Stokke, who traded on the information and shared the profits with Jorgenson (SEC v. Jorgenson, December 19, 2013).

The complaint describes three instances of insider trading. First, Jorgenson and Stokke allegedly profited by over $185,000 after trading in Barnes & Noble call options prior to the April 2012 announcement that Microsoft would invest in the bookstore’s e-reader and digital media business. In July 2013 and again in October, the defendants traded in advance of Microsoft’s respective earnings announcements, profiting by approximately $208,000. The October trades were allegedly made in options of a fund that held Microsoft stock, in an attempt to conceal the insider trading.

The defendants’ goal was to generate enough profits to start up their own hedge fund, the SEC alleges. In a statement, Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, pointed out, “Abusing access to Microsoft’s confidential information and generating unlawful trading profits is not a wise or legal business model for starting a hedge fund.” The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against both defendants, and an officer-and-director bar against Jorgenson.

The case is No. 13-cv-02275.

Attorneys: John V. Donnelly, III, for the SEC. Brian D. Jorgenson is pro se. Sean T. Stokke is pro se.

Companies: Microsoft Corporation; Barnes & Noble

MainStory: TopStory FraudManipulation WashingtonNews

Securities Regulation Daily

Introducing Wolters Kluwer Securities Regulation Daily — a daily reporting service created by attorneys, for attorneys — providing same-day coverage of breaking news, court decisions, legislation, and regulatory activity.

A complete daily report of the news that affects your world

  • View full summaries of federal and state court decisions.
  • Access full text of legislative and regulatory developments.
  • Customize your daily email by topic and/or jurisdiction.
  • Search archives for stories of interest.

Not just news — the right news

  • Get expert analysis written by subject matter specialists—created by attorneys for attorneys.
  • Track law firms and organizations in the headlines with our new “Who’s in the News” feature.
  • Promote your firm with our new reprint policy.

24/7 access for a 24/7 world

  • Forward information with special copyright permissions, encouraging collaboration between counsel and colleagues.
  • Save time with mobile apps for your BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle.
  • Access all links from any mobile device without being prompted for user name and password.