Law Firms

Husband of BigLaw associate is accused of using wife's deal information for insider trading

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The husband of a Linklaters associate in New York has been charged with insider trading for allegedly profiting from information about a corporate acquisition she had learned about at work.

Fei Yan, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was accused of making about $110,000 by trading in the stock of Stillwater Mining Company, which was targeted for acquisition by a Linklaters client, according to a press release and stories by the Am Law Daily (sub. req.), Reuters, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

A Securities and Exchange Commission complaint also alleges Yan made more than $9,700 by trading on information about the acquisition of Mattress Firm Holding Corp. by another law firm client.

Yan had done internet research on how to avoid being caught for insider trading, according to Joon Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. One search turned up an article called “Want to Commit Insider Trading? Here’s How Not to Do It.”

“The answer to Yan’s online inquiry should have been clear,” Kim said in the press release. “There is no proper way to commit insider trading.”

Yan’s wife has not been arrested. She has been suspended from Linklaters pending further investigation, according to a law firm statement provided to the Am Law Daily. She was not identified by authorities.

“The duty to respect the confidential nature of our work is the bedrock of our business, our client relationships and the legal profession,” the statement said. “We have robust policies in place, including those relating to the handling of confidential information and dealing rules, on which we train all our lawyers and staff.

“We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities on this matter.”

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