Feds charge Amazon CFO with insider trading

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The federal Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit Monday against an Amazon chief financial officer who allegedly leaked confidential company information to family members, earning them nearly $1.4 million by trading on the basis of insider tips.

Bothell resident Laksha Bohra, former head of Amazon’s tax division; her husband, Viky Bohra; and his father-in-law Gotham Bohra, agreed to repay the stock gains, along with an additional $1.2 million in penalties and interest.

The American attorney simultaneously filed criminal charges against Viky Bohra. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on why no other family members have been criminally charged.

“Vik Bohra deeply regrets this conduct, accepts full responsibility and intends to promptly repay the funds,” attorney Peter Offenbecher said in a statement on behalf of his client. A lawyer for Laksha Bohra declined to comment on the charges. Gotham Bohra could not be reached.

Laksha Bohra, the alleged SEC civil complaint, ignored numerous reminders from Amazon not to disclose confidential financial information or to illegally trade in the company’s securities based on what she knew of the situation. company financial backing, even after a former colleague pleaded guilty to insider trading in 2017, earning him six months in prison.

Between 2016 and 2018, Viky and Gotham Bohra “regularly” traded Amazon securities through 11 separate brokerage accounts based on Laksha Bohra’s confidential inside information, according to the complaint.

While vacationing in Europe in April 2018, for example, Laksha Bohra logged into Amazon’s network remotely to view the company’s preliminary first-quarter earnings statements. On the same day, betting that Amazon shares would rise after the company reported earnings, Viky and Gotham Bohra bought options to buy Amazon shares at a specified price, according to the complaint. Shares rose after the earnings report – by 3.6% in one day, earning the Bohras nearly $600,000 in profits from stock trades.

Amazon declined to answer questions about how it prevents insider trading in the company, or whether it knew Laksha Bohra allegedly passed inside information to his family members when the company suspended his employment in October 2018.

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