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An Ex-Pfizer Employee Is Charged With Insider Trading Related To Covid

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An Ex-Pfizer Employee Is Charged With Insider Trading Related To Covid

(CTN News) – In the course of Pfizer’s wide-ranging investigation targeting alleged corruption in public markets, US prosecutors have charged former Pfizer employees, a Massachusetts police chief, a former pharmaceutical executive, and investors in a Donald Trump media venture with insider trading.

Ten defendants have been indicted by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan for securities fraud and other charges, allegedly trading on privileged information in order to steal a combined $30 million.

On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission also sued the individuals in related cases.

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In a case filed by the SEC and prosecutors, it was alleged that a former Pfizer employee who was privy to early positive results from the Paxlovid antiviral Covid-19 clinical trials bought short-term call options in the company’s stock in November 2021 and passed the tip on to a friend who, in turn, traded on the material information.

A day later, Pfizer’s shares jumped more than 10% on the news, its largest one-day gain in more than a decade.Atul Bhiwapurkar, a friend of Amit Dagar, was arrested on Thursday morning.

The trades made them almost $350,000, according to prosecutors.

Dagar’s lawyer, Patrick Smith, denied the charges. The results of the Paxlovid trial were never disclosed to Mr Dagar, who was on the ‘blinded’ side, he said.

Blinded clinical trials are those in which participants are kept in the dark as to whether they are receiving a real treatment or a placebo.

In response to requests for comment, Bhiwapurkar’s lawyer did not respond. According to Pfizer, the alleged conduct violates its policies and the company is cooperating with the government investigation.

In a separate matter, US prosecutors have charged Jordan Meadow, a New York stockbroker, with utilizing inside information obtained from an unidentified large investment bank in the city “to make millions of dollars in illegal profits by Pfizer trading stocks on behalf of himself and his clients”.

Prosecutors allege Meadow exchanged information about corporate acquisitions scraped from the laptop of Meadow’s girlfriend, who was then a financial analyst at the investment bank, for high-value items, including a Rolex watch.

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