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SEC Freezes Assets of Thailand-Based Trader

The Securities and Exchange Commission froze $3.2 million in alleged illegal profits of a Thailand-Based Trader. Insider trading is suspected.

The trader, Badin Rungruangnavarat, 30, allegedly received a tip from a Facebook friend who was a former employee of Rungruangnavarat’s current employer. The friend, who remains unnamed, is an associate director of a Thai investment bank that was advising a rival company on the deal.

Shuanghui International Holdings, China’s largest meat processor, announced that it would purchase U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE: SFD) for $4.7 billion. “The friend’s” bank was advising Shuanghui rival Charoen Pokphand Foods, which was considering a rival bid for Smithfield.

Based on the tip Rungruangnavarat traded out of the money call options and single-stock futures in an account at Interactive Brokers shortly before the announcement.

This follows a high profile case that targeted overseas traders who were accused of insider options trades just ahead of Warren Buffet’s announcement that Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) was purchasing H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE: HNZ)

In a statement, the head of the SEC’s Chicago office said, “We will act quickly and decisively to uncover and take action against insider trading no matter where the trader resides.”

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in the securities mentioned.


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