Washington, D.C., April 25, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that former Banco Santander S.A. analyst Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia of Madrid, Spain, has agreed to pay more than $625,000 to settle insider trading charges against him. The SEC accused Garcia in August 2010 of illegally trading in advance of a corporate takeover by a company that Santander advised.
The settlement with Garcia requires the approval of U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Aspen in the Northern District of Illinois.
“This concludes our emergency action against Garcia and demonstrates that the Commission will act swiftly to prevent foreign citizens who commit fraud in the U.S. securities markets from reaping the profits of their illegal activity,” said Daniel M. Hawke, Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit.
The SEC filed an emergency court action on Aug. 20, 2010, against Garcia and another trader in Spain and obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order and asset freeze over the funds held in Garcia’s brokerage account at Interactive Brokers LLC. The SEC alleged that Garcia just days earlier had traded on the basis of material, nonpublic information about a multi-billion dollar cash tender offer by BHP Billiton Plc to acquire Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. At the time, Garcia was the head of a research arm at Santander, a Spanish banking group advising BHP on its bid. Garcia purchased 282 call option contracts for Potash stock in the days leading up to the public announcement, and immediately sold all of his options following the announcement for illicit profits of $576,033.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, Garcia agreed to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from future violations of Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3, and ordering him to pay disgorgement of $576,033 and a penalty of $50,000.
The SEC’s charges against the other trader, Luis Martin Caro Sanchez, remain pending.
The SEC litigation is being handled by Jonathan Polish, James Lundy, Frank Goldman and Dee O’Hair of the Chicago Regional Office. Goldman and O’Hair work in the Market Abuse Unit.