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[NEW YORK] A former JPMorgan Chase analyst and two friends were arrested in California on Tuesday on charges they made more than $600,000 on insider trading deals, the Justice Department said.
According to the indictment, Ashish Aggarwal worked as an analyst for the US bank in San Francisco from 2011 to 2013, gave tips on a pair of impending technology industry acquisitions to the friends.
Aggarwal is said to have disclosed to college friend Shahriyar Bolandian details of acquisitions by Integrated Device Technology of PLX Technology and Salesforce.com's purchase of ExactTarget.
Bolandian shared the information with another friend, Kevan Sadigh, and both men traded securities and options related to the companies ahead of the deals.
To cover up the alleged crime, the three sent emails to each other "that contained false statements suggesting that their trades were based on research, or luck, not inside information."
Aggarwal, 27, and Bolandian, 28, were college friends, while Sadigh, 28, co-owned a Los Angeles clothing company at which Bolandian worked.
The Department of Justice said the profits were used to cover previous trading losses and repay debts owed by Aggarwal and Bolandian.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, which worked on a parallel case against the three defendants, said they "misused an investment bank's confidential information for their personal benefit and victimised the bank, its clients, and investors," according to Robert Cohen, acting co-chief of enforcement in the SEC's market abuse unit.
Grant Fondo, an attorney representing Aggarwal, said his client denies the charges and "intends to vigorously defend himself against these allegations." Attorneys for Bolandian and Sadigh did not immediately respond to requests for comment.