Swiss trader fined $2.8M in Authentec insider-trading case settlement

A Swiss trader has been ordered to pay over $2.8 million to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle civil charges that he illegally traded after receiving nonpublic information about Apple Inc.’s purchase of Authentec Inc., according to an announcement by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The ruling comes nearly three years after Apple entered into an agreement to purchase AuthenTec Inc. for approximately US$355 million in cash, whose fingerprint technology Apple used in the company’s Touch ID sensors for Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

Helmut Anscheringer was ordered to pay the $2.8 million fine after he purchased stock and call options in Authentec.

Anscheringer decided to invest in the company after a relative, who was an executive at Authentec, told him that Apple had proposed to acquire the fingerprint sensor firm, according to statements released by the SEC.

As a result of the insider information, Anscheringer ended up profiting more than $1.8 million when Authentec stock closed 60% higher after it announced it had been acquired by Apple.

Anscheringer did not admit or deny the insider-trading claims, but rather, agreed to settle any claims related to the allegations, including a $910,000 fine for insider trading.

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