Texas man sentenced in insider trading scheme over Move tip

Authorities say Hamed Ettu, 44, illegally purchased call options in Move, the operator of realtor.com

Hamed Ettu, a 44-year-old Richmond, Texas man, was sentenced to three years’ probation, the first nine months of which he will be required to serve in home confinement, perform 120 hours of community service and pay a fine of $15,000 in an insider trading scheme, where he illegally purchased call options in the realtor.com operator Move, and others.

Ettu allegedly received material non-public information from Damilare Sonoiki, then a junior analyst at Goldman Sachs, regarding the companies. Sonoiki, who is charged in a separate case, also allegedly provided information to ex-NFL player Mychal Kendricks. Sonoiki, according to the charges, obtained the information in violation of his duty of confidentiality.

Kendricks pled guilty in September and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Mychal Kendricks | Courtesy: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

“This type of illegal behavior – insider trading based on material, non-public information – undermines faith in our financial markets and harms ordinary investors who play by the rules,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said in a statement. “Prosecuting securities fraud and thereby safeguarding the integrity of the public securities markets has been and will continue to be a top priority of my office.”

Ettu pleaded guilty in February 2019 to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Ettu illegally purchased shares in Move, and Compuware between July and September 2014, according to the charges. When proposed mergers for each company were announced, the value of Ettu’s shares increase and he made a profit of more than $93,000.

“The manipulation of our markets undermines all the investors who take great care to play by the rules,” Michael Harpster, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, said in a statement. “Through cases like this, the FBI continues to work against such corruption to help ensure fairness in the marketplace.”

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