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SEC Charges Paralegal and Her Father in Insider Trading Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Angela Milliard, a former paralegal for Semitool, Inc., with trading on confidential information regarding the acquisition of Semitool by Applied Materials.

According to the SEC, in October 2009 Ms. Milliard learned through her employment at Semitol, of Applied Materials’ tender order to acquire Semitool.  The tender offer of $11 per share presented a significant premium above Semitool’s then trading price of $7.83.  This information was material and confidential.

The SEC’s complaint alleged that Ms. Miller, in an effort to conceal her trades, wired money to her boyfriend’s brokerage account and used it to secretly buy Semitool stock.   Between October 28 and November 16, 2009, Ms. Milliard purchased 5,700 Semitool shares in her and her boyfriend’s brokerage accounts.  At the same time, she tipped confidential information about the merger to her father.  Her father and other family members purchased 14,800 Semitool shares.  On the morning of November 17, 2009, after Applied Materials announced its acquisition, Ms. Milliard, her father and certain family members sold their shares for profits of $68,160.11.

The SEC stated, “Angela Milliard exploited her access to confidential merger and acquisition information to illicitly enrich herself and her family.”  And “[a]s a member of a legal department entrusted with sensitive deal documents, she had a duty to safeguard that information, not trade on it.”

Ms. Milliard and her father agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying $175,367.01 in disgorgement, interest and penalties.