SEC charges ex-Amazon CFO and family in $1.4 million insider trading case
A former top executive in Amazon’s tax department has been charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Laksha Bohra allegedly acquired confidential information while preparing and reviewing calculations used to formulate Amazon’s quarterly and annual earnings filed with the SEC between January 2016 and July 2018, according to a press release from the agency on Monday.
Bohra is accused of passing information about Amazon’s financial performance to her husband, Viky Bohra. The complaint alleges that Viky Bohra and her father, Gotham Bohra, exchanged the information in 11 separate accounts maintained by different members of the Bohra family.
Laksha Bohra also allegedly “ignored quarterly reminders prohibiting him from transmitting material nonpublic information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities.” The family reportedly made $1.4 million in profits from the illegal trade.
“We allege that the Bohras repeatedly and systematically used Amazon’s confidential information for their own gain,” Erin Schneider, director of the SEC’s regional office in San Francisco, said in a statement. “Employees with access to confidential company information that could influence the market cannot use this information to enrich themselves, their friends or their family.”
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle accuses the three Bohras of violating anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws. The three, all of Bothell, Washington, consented to the entry of final judgments permanently barring them from further violations of the provisions charged and ordering them to pay a total refund of $1,428,094, total prejudgment interest of $118 $406 and total penalties of $1,106,399. .
Amazon told GeekWire that it does not comment on ongoing litigation.
Laksha Bohra started as a transfer pricing manager in Amazon’s tax department in December 2012 and was promoted to senior manager in May 2018, according to the court filing. His employment was suspended on or about October 25, 2018.
Viky Bohra is listed as a program manager at a Fortune 500 public technology company, and before that he worked as an engineer at two large public companies, according to the filing notes.