A former high-ranking executive of US computer chip giant Qualcomm Inc pleaded guilty on Monday to insider trading charges, including trades on a 2011 deal for Atheros Communications Inc, officials said.
Former executive vice president and president of global business operations at Qualcomm Jing Wang (汪靜), 51, also pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of his insider trading using an offshore shell company, the US Department of Justice said.
“Not satisfied with his lucrative executive position at Qualcomm, Jing Wang traded on insider information about the company’s acquisitions and earnings to gain an illegal advantage in the financial market,” Assistant US Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said.
“Wang then laundered close to US$250,000 in insider trading profits and created a cover-up story to hide his crimes,” Caldwell added.
Prosecutors said Wang that committed insider trading on three separate occasions over a 10-month period in 2010 and 2011 and received about US$250,000 in illegal gains.
The purchases included US$277,739 of Qualcomm stock prior to the company’s unexpected announcement of a dividend increase and stock repurchase program.
Authorities said that in December 2010, while he was in Hong Kong, Wang purchased Atheros stock hours after Qualcomm’s board made an offer for Atheros that had not been made public.
A few weeks later, in January 2011, prosecutors said Wang told his stockbroker to sell the Atheros stock in a brokerage account held in the name of an offshore entity and used the proceeds to purchase Qualcomm stock, one day before the firm announced record earnings results.
Officials said the money laundering charges stem from transferring over US$500,000 to an account in the British Virgin Islands.
The Justice Department said Wang conspired with his brother, Bing Wang (汪兵), and his stockbroker to fabricate evidence and concoct a false cover story for the trades.
Bing Wang, who is currently thought to live in China, is wanted on an international arrest warrant, officials said.
Qualcomm announced the deal for the wireless chipset group in early 2011 for US$3.1 billion.