SEC charges Israeli corporate insider with insider trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Israeli citizens Moshe Strugano and Rinat Gazit with insider trading. The regulator alleges that the doe engaged in insider trading ahead of the January 24, 2018 public announcement that Ormat Technologies, Inc. had signed a definitive agreement to acquire U.S. Geothermal Inc., a geothermal energy company based in Boise, Idaho.
According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in New York, Gazit, the former head of mergers and acquisitions at Ormat and resident of Tel Aviv, Israel, tipped her close friend, Strugano, an attorney and resident of Caesarea, Israel, with material, nonpublic information she had obtained concerning Ormat’s potential acquisition of U.S. Geothermal.
The SEC alleges that based on Gazit’s tip, Strugano purchased more than 740,000 shares of U.S. Geothermal stock from December 19, 2017 through January 18, 2018. In the months following the merger announcement, Strugano sold all of these shares for a total profit of over $1.2 million.
The SEC’s complaint charges Strugano and Gazit with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and it seeks a permanent injunction, civil penalties, and disgorgement with prejudgment interest against Strugano, and a permanent injunction, civil penalties, and an officer and director bar against Gazit.