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Flushing Man Charged in Insider Trading Scheme, Faces 20 Years in Prison

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Sept. 21, 2020 By Christian Murray

A Flushing man has been charged with insider trading after using information he learned at his place of work to profit on stocks.

Yinghang Yang, 27, alongside an unnamed co-conspirator, made more than $900,000 based on information he obtained from his corporate employer. The defendant worked at a financial company that publishes stock market indices based on shares listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

Yang and his co-conspirator would buy call options on stocks that he knew were about to be added to a major index. The call options were bought using the co-conspirator’s brokerage account.

Authorities said that on Oct. 2, 2019, Yang’s co-conspirator bought call options of Cleveland Cliffs, a publicly traded mining company, at around 2:47 p.m. That same day, at 5:15 p.m., the company where Yang worked announced that the mining company would be added to one of its indices.

The co-conspirator sold the call options on Oct. 3 and made a $155,000 profit. This scenario took place on 13 occasions, authorities said.

“Yang abused the trust placed in him by his employer and allegedly broke the law by trading on, and profiting from, nonpublic information that he stole from his employer,” said Acting United States Attorney DuCharme in a statement.

Some of the fraudulent profits generated in the co-conspirator’s brokerage account were transferred to different bank accounts held by Yang. Those bank accounts were then used by Yang for personal expenses, including credit card payments and repayment of student loans.

Yang faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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