18:13:51 EDT Fri 03 Jul 2020
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SEC defendant Tsai facing two-year jail term

2020-01-13 16:28 ET - Street Wire

Also Street Wire (C-RY) Royal Bank of Canada

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by Mike Caswell

New York prosecutors have asked that a judge impose a jail term of up to two years in Bill Tsai, a former RBC Capital Markets analyst who engaged in a "brazen, calculated, and pervasive" insider trading scheme. During his 11 months at RBC, he misappropriated confidential information more than once, the government says. On top of that, he lied to RBC about external brokerage accounts that he controlled.

The request from prosecutors comes as part of a case in which they accused Mr. Tsai, 23, of a timely trade in a company called Electronics for Imaging Inc. Just ahead of a $1.7-billion takeover offer, he bought out-of-the-money options in the company. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Those options more than tripled in value after the takeover became public. According to the government, Mr. Tsai learned about the deal through internal communications at RBC. There was no trial in the case, as Mr. Tsai entered a guilty plea on Sept. 19, 2019.

The request for a two-year jail term is contained in a sentencing memorandum that the government filed on Jan. 10, 2020. The document sets out how Mr. Tsai, who started at RBC after graduating from New York University, misused confidential information several times in just 11 months. Among other things, he shared information on a takeover bid with a relative and bought options in companies that he knew would receive takeover offers.

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