SEC Charges Kevin Van de Grift and Gil Friedman with Insider Trading in Verifone Systems Acquisition

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Kevin Van de Grift and Gil Friedman of insider trade. These charges are based on their alleged trading activity prior to the April 9, 2018 announcement by private equity firm Francisco Partners Management, L.P. of its acquisition of Verifone Systems, Inc., an American payment systems company.

Friedman, former consultant at Francisco Partners and a licensed accountant, Van de Grift is said to have given him confidential information regarding the possible acquisition. Van de Grift, a day-trader and licensed accountant, purchased 60,000 Verifone shares between March 5, 2018 and March 9, 2018, based on the tip. The day after the announcement of the acquisition, he sold these shares for a profit of approximately $300,000.

Van de Grift, Friedman and the SEC are accused in their complaint of violating Section 10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1935 and Rule 10b-5. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions and civil penalties against both defendants. The complaint also requests Van de Grift to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interests.

Michael Cates led the SEC’s investigations, with help from Daniel Konosky. Ian Karpel Nicholas Heinke Jason Burt were in charge of overseeing. Sharan Lieberman, Michael Cates, and Gregory Kasper will supervise the SEC litigation. Mr. Heinke & Mr. Burt will oversee the SEC’s litigation. The SEC thanks the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for its cooperation and assistance.

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Securities and Exchange Commission is the regulatory agency of the United States that enforces federal securities laws and protects investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was founded in 1934 as a response to the 1929 stock market crash and Great Depression. The SEC’s primary mission is to promote capital formation and protect investors against fraudulent practices and manipulative activities in the securities industry. This is achieved by the SEC requiring that public companies disclose financial information to investors, regulating securities brokers and dealers’ activities, overseeing stock exchanges and enforcing the securities laws through legal actions and investigations. The SEC has a vital role to play in ensuring the integrity of U.S. financial market.

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