back to article Amazon bean-counter, her husband, father-in-law cough up $2.6m after SEC collars them on insider-trading rap

An Amazon finance manager has been accused of insider trading, along with her husband and father-in-law who collectively bought and sold Amazon shares based on non-public financial details it is said she leaked to her spouse. Collectively, the trio made $1.4m in profit from their little scam, America's financial watchdog the …

  1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Coat

    When do everyday-Americans going to get it: Insider trading is not for the faint hearted. Only the rich, famous and powerful are allowed.

    For all the hassles to insider trading, make sure to set aside some dosh for your lawyer (or local congress/senate representative).

    Senator Richard Burr Sold a Fortune in Stocks as G.O.P. Played Down Coronavirus Threat

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Personal v Public

      To be fair to Sen. Burr, this is more like "Do as I say, not as I do" than it is like insider trading. Everyone could look at public information in early 2020 and form their own judgement of what impact Covid-19 would have on any stocks they owned. It's duplicitous to believe one thing (apparent from one's stock selling) and to advertise the opposite thing ("It'll go away one day like a miracle" [Trump 2020 passim.]) but it's not the same as insider trading, where the information one is relying on is not public.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Personal v Public

        Yes. And No. A lot depended on what the Govt. was going to do, how they were planning on tackling it, whether there would be a lockdown, which businesses or industries would be shutdown, how transportation might be affected. The Government publicly played it down while privately talking about plans for a shutdown. We, the p[ebs could try to make guesses, but the publicly available information from the Government was very misleading in the early days.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "When do everyday-Americans going to get it: Insider trading is not for the faint hearted."

      I'm sure everyday-Americans do it and get away with it. They just need to be a lot better at it than this.

      1. johnfbw

        "I'm sure everyday-Americans do it and get away with it"

        Probably not. Insider trading often doesn't provide massive returns - rather smaller quick one off returns (think 10-20% next week). The key limiter is the person must have a good understanding of the market, a trading account (possibly allowing complex betting) and lots of MONEY

        Are you prepared to go to jail for 10% of your savings? Would you be if your life savings were £1,000?

  2. six_tymes

    if truly guilty, then, it's good to see scammers get what they deserve. most usually get away with it.

  3. David Pearce

    I wonder if she would have been caught if her husband was not involved

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    That's a shame

    She could always get a job working for Trump's accountants.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "agreed to pay back the dosh"

    To whom? They made an unfair profit and, therefore, somebody lost it's not going to be obvious who exactly lost out. Those who offered the shares for sale would have sold them to someone else irrespective of whether the buyer had inside information or not. My guess is that the dosh gets paid back to the US govt despite the fact they never lost it. I suppose it helps to make up for the taxes they didn't collect from Trump.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "To whom?"

      To the US Treasury, which is where SEC disgorgement payments wind up.

      C.

    2. sketharaman

      Victimless Crime

      As long as a stock is liquid, which $AMZN surely is, somebody is always buying that stock and somebody else is always selling it. It's immaterial that one out of the thousands of buyers bought the stock because s/he had inside information that the stock price would increase. As long as the seller who sold the stock to that buyer did not have inside information, s/he can't claim any loss - s/he was anyway selling the stock. That's why they call insider trading a "Victimless Crime".

      1. The Bobster

        Re: Victimless Crime

        And Moe is the only victim!

  6. AndersH

    Insider trading seems completely unnecessary in the case of Amazon.

    Crazy really, if they'd just bought and held Amazon stock from the start of 2012 they could be up ~17.5x (from a share price of ~$180 to today's price ~$3150). Be interesting to know if with that insider knowledge they actually managed to do better...

  7. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Stupid until proven otherwise

    They then grew tired of operating each account independently and so, in records clearly provided under subpoena, they asked the trading company to treat them the same and allow all three of them access to the funds.

    Amateurs!

    While they're at it, they might as well put flashing lights across their foreheads that reads "Stupid until proven otherwise".

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