The Securities and Exchange Commission last year charged a senior portfolio manager at Microsoft Corporation and his friend and business partner with insider trading ahead of company announcements. The SEC alleged that Brian D. Jorgenson, who lives in Lynwood, Wash., obtained confidential information about upcoming company news through his work in Microsoft’s corporate finance and investments division. Jorgenson tipped Sean T. Stokke of Seattle in advance of the Microsoft announcements, the most recent occurring in October. After Stokke traded on the inside information that Jorgenson provided, the two equally split the illicit profits in their shared brokerage accounts. They made joint trading decisions with the goal of generating enough profits to create their own hedge fund.
After court hearing, Jorgenson was sentenced to two years in prison today after pleading guilty to charges of insider trading.
“I cheated,” Jorgenson said at court today. “I tried to take a shortcut for my own financial gain…. I persuaded myself it was a gray area, when it clearly was black and white.”
“Motivated by greed, this defendant traded on his employer’s confidential information to line his own pocket,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan added in a statement. “Western Washington abounds in publicly traded companies with thousands of insiders who have daily access to market moving information. The sentence in this case should serve as a warning to others who might be tempted to engage in this conduct.”
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