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News

Husband of Amazon employee jailed for insider trading in the US

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

By: Pramod Thomas

HUSBAND of an Amazon employee has been sentenced to 26 months in prison for securities fraud due to his insider trading activity, acting US attorney Tessa M Gorman has announced.

Viky Bohra, 37, Bothell, Washington, used inside information he obtained from his wife, an Amazon finance employee, to place trades in Amazon stock–making a profit of $1,428,264.

The US District Judge James L Robart at the US District Court in Seattle noted that Bohra had turned his wife and father into criminals.

“I firmly believe white-collar crime deserves equal treatment to what we call street crime,” he said.

Bohra pleaded guilty in November 2020, admitting that between 2016 and 2018, he carried out insider trading.

“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,” said Gorman.

“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’s wife had access to confidential information regarding Amazon revenue and expenses. They were subject to blackout periods during which no Amazon stock could be traded, the court heard.

Bohra’s wife was advised of insider trading policies making it clear the responsibility to safeguard confidential financial information. Despite those warnings, 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, from 2016 to 2018, relied in part on information from his wife to make successful trades in advance of Amazon earnings announcements.

“Mr. Bohra knew exactly what he was doing and was driven solely by greed,” said Donald M Voiret, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office. “With his nearly unlimited access and knowledge of securities trading, he undermined public trust in our financial markets.”

According to the prosecutors, Bohra engaged in illegal insider trading in advance of 11 straight earnings announcements.”

In September last year, Bohra was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a civil insider trading case. He and his family members have paid $2,652,899 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties.

As part of the plea agreement, Bohra’s wife, who is no longer employed at Amazon, will not face criminal charges.

Eastern Eye

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