Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced Thursday that three men pleaded guilty and one other was arrested for their roles in an insider-trading scheme.
Twenty-seven-year-old Evan Kita of Yardley, 55-year-old Chiang Yu and his son, Richard Yu, 27, both of Pennington, New Jersey pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. All defendants were released on a $150,000 unsecured bond, according to court documents.
Twenty-eight-year-old Daniel Perez of Yardley was arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud on Thursday.
Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Ewing Township, New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company, developed Vyxeos, a drug approved by the FDA to treat acute myeloid leukemia. Celator started Phase 3 clinical trials for Vyxeos in December 2012, issuing a press release on March 14, 2016 announcing the results were positive.
Kita was employed at Celator from June 2013 through April 2016. When Kita discovered the results to the Vyxeos clinical trial, he shared the information with Richard Yu and Perez, who traded on the information, according to court documents.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC, a Dublin, Ireland-based publicly traded company entered into an agreement to acquire Celator on May 31, 2016. The deal, worth about $1.5 billion, was completed in 2016. Celator now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, according to court documents.
Two Celator employees alerted Kita to the potential acquisition, before it was publicly announced. Kita shared that information with Richard Yu and Perez and both traded on the information. Richard Yu then shared the information with his father, Chiang Yu, who traded on the information. He also agreed to share the profits with Kita, according to court records.
Kita profited between $250,000 and $550,000 from his insider-trading scheme. Chiang profited between $95,000 and $150,000, Richard Yu profited $200,070.29 from their insider trading schemes.
The defendants face a maximum five-year imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for one count of conspiracy to commit security fraud. The securities fraud count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and a $5 million fine. Richard Yu, Chiang Yu and Kita are scheduled for sentencing on December 5, 2017.
All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.