Washington D.C., Sept. 28, 2020 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former finance manager at Amazon.com Inc. and two family members with insider trading in advance of Amazon earnings announcements between January 2016 and July 2018.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Laksha Bohra worked as a senior manager in Amazon’s tax department, where she prepared and reviewed calculations used to finalize numbers included in Amazon’s quarterly and annual earnings that were filed with the SEC. Beginning in January 2016 and continuing through July 2018, Laksha Bohra allegedly acquired, and tipped her husband Viky Bohra with, highly confidential information about Amazon’s financial performance. The complaint alleges that Viky Bohra and his father, Gotham Bohra, traded on this confidential information in 11 separate accounts maintained by different members of the Bohra family. The complaint further alleges that Laksha Bohra disregarded quarterly reminders prohibiting her from passing material nonpublic information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities. As alleged, the family reaped illicit profits of approximately $1.4 million from their unlawful trading in Amazon securities.
“We allege that the Bohras repeatedly and systematically used Amazon’s confidential information for their own gain,” said Erin Schneider, Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. “Employees with access to confidential, potentially market-moving corporate information may not use that information to enrich themselves, their friends, or their families.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Seattle, charges all three Bohras with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. All three Bohras have consented to the entry of final judgments permanently enjoining them from further violations of the charged provisions, and ordering them to pay total disgorgement of $1,428,094, total prejudgment interest of $118,406, and total penalties of $1,106,399.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington today filed criminal charges against Viky Bohra.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Sallie Kim, with assistance from Marc Katz and Andrew Hefty, under the supervision of Monique C. Winkler of the San Francisco Regional Office. Darren Boerner of the Market Abuse Unit also assisted the investigation. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.