Michael Baron, a former senior editor at TheStreet Inc. has agreed to pay $10,225 to resolve claims that he participated in an insider trading ring involving a group of high school friends according to the SEC Tuesday. The SEC’s case against the former editor comes on the tail of a related criminal prosecution of six other men involved in an insider trading scheme regarding pharmaceutical and medical technology stocks. Baron was not criminally charged in that case, but the SEC alleged in a New Jersey civil lawsuit on Tuesday that he provided illegal tips to an unnamed relative about Celgene Corp’s 2007 acquisition of Pharmion Corp and Stryker Corp’s tender offer for Orthovita Inc in 2011. The relative then made more than $6,500 in illegal gains.
According to the SEC, the tip regarding the Celgene-Pharmion deal came from John Lazorchak, who was a high school friend of Baron’s and at the time was an employee in Celgene’s financial reporting department. The tip regarding Stryker’s tender offer was from Mark Foldy, who was also a high school friend of Baron’s and worked in Stryker’s marketing department. Lazorchak pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud charges and was sentenced in April to 1-1/3 years in prison. Foldy pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud charges and was sentenced to two years supervised release with six months of home confinement. Four others pleaded guilty in the criminal case, including Lawrence Grum and Michael Castelli, the primary traders in the case. Grum was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, and Castelli was sentenced to nine months.
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