California Resident Settles Insider Trading Charges in Audentes Therapeutics Acquisition Case

Litigation Release Number 25660 / 9 March 2023

Securities and Exchange Commission, v. Mahmoud A. Abdelkader (No. 3:23-cv-01032 (N.D. Cal. The case was filed on Mar. 7, 2023 (N.D. California). 7, 2023)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that California resident Mahmoud Abdulkader had agreed to settle charges of insider trading for securities of Audentes Therapeutics, Inc. prior to the public announcement on December 2, 2019, that Audentes Therapeutics would be acquired By Astellas Pharma, Inc., for approximately $3 billion.

According to SEC’s complaint Abdelkader’s spouse worked for Audentes. According to the SEC, Abdelkader allegedly determined that there was a very high probability of Audentes’ acquisition based on information he obtained from his wife. Abdelkader, using the material, nonpublic information that he stole from his wife, allegedly bought short-term Audentes call option contracts on October 17, 2019 and October 18, 2019.

Abdelkader allegedly gained approximately $81,580 in ill-gotten profits when Audentes shares rose approximately 106% as a result of the acquisition announcement.

Abdelkader agreed to an entry of final judgment which would resolve all claims, and permanently prohibit him from violating Section 10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1939 and Rule 10b-5 of that Act. Abdelkader accepted to pay a civil penalty of $81,580, and to return his profits along with prejudgment interest amounting to $90,570. The settlement must be approved by the court.

Jason Schall conducted the SEC’s probe, along with Lauren Poper and Wendy Kong. Lisa Robertson Melissa Armstrong and Melissa Hodgman were in charge of the case. The SEC thanks the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for its assistance.

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SEC: What You Need to Know

Securities and Exchange Commission is an American regulatory agency that supervises and enforces federal security laws. Its main mission is to protect and promote investors, ensure fair and efficient markets and encourage capital formation.

It is the SEC’s responsibility to ensure that companies provide accurate and relevant information when they issue securities. To promote fairness and transparency, it regulates securities firms, such as stock exchanges, investment advisors and brokers. The agency enforces laws against insider dealing, fraud and other securities laws.

The SEC is not only responsible for regulating, but also educating and informing the public about their rights and obligations. It offers resources and guidance that help people make informed investments decisions and avoid scams.

SEC’s role is vital in maintaining the integrity and protection of U.S. financial market.

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