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24 Jan 2011

SEC Freezes Assets in Biotech Insider Trading Case

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it has obtained a court order freezing the bank and brokerage accounts controlled by an individual who made more than $800,000 in illegal profits by trading on inside information tipped to him by an employee of a biopharmaceutical firm.


In a complaint unsealed late Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the SEC alleges that Zizhong (James) Fan, a manager at Seattle Genetics, told family member Zishen (Brandon) Fan about confidential positive trial results for the company's flagship cancer treatment. Zishen spent hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing speculative stock options in the company as well as common stock, which skyrocketed in value when the news became public in late September 2010.


According to the SEC's complaint, the SEC staff contacted both Zizhong and Zishen last Thursday, January 13. Almost immediately after being contacted, Zishen attempted to wire several hundred thousand dollars to a bank in China while Zizhong informed his employer that he was leaving unexpectedly for China. The SEC thereafter fi

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