(Bloomberg) -- A Swiss man was charged in the U.S. with illegally making more than $4.7 million in trading on an insider tip about Sanofi’s 2018 acquisition of Bioverativ, a developer of hemophilia therapies.
Roland Mathys is charged with using information from an unidentified senior Sanofi executive to buy 1,607 Bioverative call options for about $170,000, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement Thursday. Mathys, 32, is charged with one count of fraud in connection with a tender offer, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Mathys bought the options over a week beginning on Jan. 12, 2018, through his Credit Suisse account in Switzerland, according to the charges. When the Bioverativ deal was announced on Jan. 22, 2018, shares shot up 62%, according to the government. He told his Credit Suisse relationship manager he was “extremely surprised” by the developments and that he didn’t have any information about the deal when he made the trades.
Mathys is a citizen of Switzerland, where he resides. He isn’t in custody.
Mathys was also named by the SEC in a civil suit claiming he traded illegally on insider information. Mathys got the tip from a friend and former co-worker who is the son of the unidentified Sanofi executive, according to the government. The son wasn’t named.
According to an indictment unsealed Thursday, the tipper was a Sanofi executive vice president in Paris. He and his son are both citizens of Switzerland and Italy, according to the government.
The SEC claims Mathys met with his friend, the son of the Sanofi executive, at Mathys’s apartment on March 24, 2018.
“The friend told Mathys that not only was Mathys in trouble for his trades, but that the friend and his father, the Sanofi Insider, could also be in trouble because of Mathys’ trading in Bioverativ,” the SEC said in its complaint. “Mathys did not deny the SEC’s allegations, and did not offer alternative reasons for his trades, but instead apologized to the friend for creating trouble for the friend and the Sanofi insider.”
Court records for the criminal and SEC cases didn’t indicate whether Mathys has an attorney.
The criminal case is U.S. v. Mathys, 19-cr-00442, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mathys, 18-cv-00701, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
(Updates with SEC suit in fifth paragraph.)
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