"he undermined public trust in our financial markets.”
Viky Bohra, the husband of a former Amazon employee, has been jailed for 26 months for securities fraud and illegally making a profit of $1.4 million by using inside trading information from his wife.
Bohra, aged 37, of Washington state, pleaded guilty in November 2020.
Between 2016 and 2018, he used Amazon inside information he obtained from his wife, an Amazon finance worker, to place trades in Amazon stock.
His wife had access to confidential information regarding Amazon revenue and expenses.
Because of that, Bohra and his wife were subject to blackout periods during which no Amazon stock could be traded.
Bohra’s wife was advised of insider trading policies.
However, Bohra obtained his wife’s confidential information and traded in Amazon stock and options in accounts tied to him and his father.
Trades occurred during blackout periods and relied in part on information from his wife to make successful trades in advance of Amazon earnings announcements.
Donald M Voiret, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Fied Office, said:
“Bohra knew exactly what he was doing and was driven solely by greed.
“With his nearly unlimited access and knowledge of securities trading, he undermined public trust in our financial markets.”
On September 28, 2020, Bohra was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a civil insider trading case.
Prosecutors requested a 33-month sentence and said that “over two and a half years, Bohra, using information provided by his wife, made over $1.4 million by making illegal stock and options trades.
“Bohra’s conduct was not an isolated incident, limited to trading before one Amazon earning’s statement.
“Rather, Bohra engaged in illegal insider trading in advance of 11 straight earnings announcements.”
Bohra was jailed for 26 months at the US District Court in Seattle for securities fraud due to his insider trading activity.
After sentencing, US District Judge James L Robart said that Bohra had turned his wife and father into criminals and added:
“I firmly believe white-collar crime deserves equal treatment to what we call street crime.”
“This defendant and his wife were earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and bonuses from their jobs in tech – but he was not content with that – greedily scheming to illegally profit by trading Amazon stock.
“This case should stand as a warning to those who try to game the markets with insider trading: there is a heavy price to pay with a felony conviction and prison sentence.”
Bohra and his family have paid $2.6 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties.
Based on the payments, forfeiture is not being sought after.
As part of the plea agreement, Bohra’s wife will not face criminal charges. She no longer works at Amazon.