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SEC Charged a Hollywood Movie Producer with Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Mohammed Mark Amin, a Hollywood movie producer, and five of his close acquaintances, with insider trading in DuPont Fabros Technology (“DFT”). DFT owns, develops, operates and manages facilities that maintain computer servers for companies such as Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google. 

The SEC alleged that Mr. Amin, who served on DFT’s board of directors since 2007, along with two of his relatives and three friends, used material non-public information to purchase and ultimately illegally profit in DFT securities. As a member of the board of directors, Mr. Amin attended a special board meeting on December 22, 2008 and participated in a telephone conference call with DFT’s CEO, on January 7, 2009. During these meetings, Mr. Amin acquired inside information.

According to the SEC’s complaint, after his telephone conference with DFT’s CEO, Mr. Amin tipped his cousin and asked him to purchase $100,000.00 of DFT shares. Between January 8 and February 10, 2009, Mr. Amin and his acquaintances purchased 405,150 shares of DFT shares, generating more than $618,000.00 in illicit profits. On February 11, 2009, DFT released its 2008 earnings report, disclosing the previously non-public information, causing DFT’s stock to increase 36%.

The SEC said, “Mark Amin disregarded his board responsibilities and betrayed shareholders at DuPont Fabros in favor of giving his circle of relatives and friends an inside scoop to trade on nonpublic information.”  Mr. Mark Amin resigned from DFT’s board of directors in February 2011. Without admitting or denying the allegations, the Defendants agreed to collectively pay nearly $2 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties.