Criminal Justice

Ex-boyfriend of Covington associate pleads guilty to using information in her files for insider trading

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The former boyfriend of an associate at Covington & Burling pleaded guilty on Monday to using information he found in her files for insider trading.

Seth Markin, 32, of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, according to Law360 and a Justice Department press release. He entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York.

The plea deal calls for Markin to forfeit $82,000 and to refrain from appealing any sentence at or below 37 months in prison, according to Law360.

Prosecutors had alleged Markin secretly looked through his girlfriend’s confidential work documents in February 2021 without her permission and learned that Merck was about to acquire the publicly traded biotechnology company Pandion Therapeutics. At the time, Markin had been accepted into a training program to become an FBI agent.

Markin told his friend Brandon Wong, then a systems analyst, about the pending deal. They traded on the information, reaping more than $1.4 million in illegal profits, prosecutors alleged. Markin and Wong also advised at least 20 friends and family members to buy Pandion stock, according to the press release.

“With their illegal profits,” the press release says, “the defendants and their tippees purchased luxury items and bought gifts for each other. For example, Wong purchased for Markin a Rolex watch valued at approximately $40,000, a trip to Hawaii, and a meal at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in New York that cost more than $1,000.”

Wong, 40, of New York City, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in April.

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