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by Mike Caswell
Boston prosecutors are asking a judge to revoke the pretrial release of Kris Bortnovsky, one of those charged for a $4-million insider trading scheme that included Ontario's Aphria Inc. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) They say that Mr. Bortnovsky intimidated a government witness, and did so while he was subject to a no-contact order with that witness. They are asking that the judge order Mr. Bortnovsky be detained until trial or placed under home detention.
The request from prosecutors comes with Mr. Bortnovsky awaiting trial for an insider trading scheme with four companies. The scheme, as set out by the government, included trades in Aphria that generated $2.2-million in gains. According to prosecutors, he learned of a planned takeover for Aphria, and then bought out-of-the-money options ahead of the deal becoming public.
The alleged witness intimidation comes about five months after Mr. Bortnovsky was arrested for the scheme. Authorities took him into custody on Dec. 8, 2021, in Florida, and the judge subsequently released him on a $500,000 appearance bond. There were several conditions attached to that bond, including one that specifically barred Mr. Bortnovsky from being in contact with the government witness at issue.
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