The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a former finance manager at Amazon and two family members with insider trading in advance of Amazon earnings announcements between January 2016 and July 2018.
The family reaped illicit profits of approximately $1.4 million from their unlawful trading in Amazon securities, the SEC said in its complaint on Monday.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Laksha Bohra worked as a senior manager in Amazon’s tax department, where she prepared and reviewed calculations used to finalise numbers included in Amazon’s quarterly and annual earnings that were filed with the SEC.
Beginning in January 2016 and continuing through July 2018, Laksha Bohra allegedly acquired, and tipped her husband Viky Bohra with highly confidential information about Amazon’s financial performance.
The complaint alleges that Viky Bohra and his father, Gotham Bohra, traded on this confidential information in 11 separate accounts maintained by different members of the Bohra family.
The complaint further alleged that Laksha Bohra disregarded quarterly reminders prohibiting her from passing material non-public information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities.
“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 SEC’s complaint, filed in the federal court in Seattle, charges all three Bohras with violating anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
In a parallel action, the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington on Monday filed criminal charges against Viky Bohra.