Ex Amazon finance manager on insider trading charges

A former finance manager at Amazon and two family members have been charged making $1.4m (£1.09m) from insider trading using confidential information in advance of Amazon earnings announcements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought charges against Laksha Bohra, who worked as a senior manager in Amazon's tax department, where she prepared and reviewed calculations used to finalise numbers included in Amazon's quarterly and annual earnings that were filed with the US regulator.

From January 2016 to July 2018, Laksha Bohra allegedly acquired, and tipped her husband Viky Bohra, with highly confidential information about Amazon's financial performance.

The SEC claims that Viky Bohra and his father, Gotham Bohra, traded on this confidential information in 11 separate accounts maintained by different members of the Bohra family.

The regulator says that Laksha Bohra disregarded quarterly reminders issued by the company prohibiting her from passing material non-public information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities.

It calculates the family made approximately $1.4m from the alleged unlawful trading.

Erin Schneider, director of the SEC's San Francisco Regional Office, said: ‘We allege that the Bohras repeatedly and systematically used Amazon's confidential information for their own gain.

‘Employees with access to confidential, potentially market-moving corporate information may not use that information to enrich themselves, their friends, or their families.’

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in Seattle, charges all three Bohras with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.

All three family members have consented to the entry of final judgments permanently enjoining them from further violations of the charged provisions, and ordering them to pay total disgorgement of $1,428,094, total prejudgment interest of $118,406, and total penalties of $1,106,399.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington today filed criminal charges against Viky Bohra.

Neither Amazon nor members of the Bohra family have made a public comment on the charges.

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