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NASDAQ former exec ‘used wife’s online account for insider trading’

BULLETIN: Donald Johnson had access to confidential company information in advance

A former executive at NASDAQ has pleaded guilty to insider trading, allegedly using his wife's online brokerage account on his work computer.

Donald Johnson, 56, had access to pre-release data including earnings and product launches, in his capacity as managing director on the stock exchange's market intelligence desk. He had pleaded guilty to making $640,000 (£390,000) in illegal gains from the information.

US authorities had alleged that Johnson logged onto his work computer, then used his wife's online brokerage account in order to trade stocks on insider information. They claim he did so eight times from 2006 to 2009, before he retired.

"Don Johnson used sensitive, confidential information as an executive at NASDAQ to pad his retirement by more than $600,000," said US attorney Neil McBride. "He thought he could get away with it by using his wife's account and inside information to make relatively small trades just a few times a year. But he learned what every other trader on Wall Street must now realise: We're watching."

Johnson had also violated NASDAQ company policy by failing to inform the exchange of his wife's trading account, the DoJ said.

He will be sentenced on 12 August. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed a civil suit.


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