VMware at the NYSE, Dec. 14, 2021.
The compliance chief at a Chinese payment processor was charged by the SEC and New York federal prosecutors with violating insider trading laws after sneaking onto to his girlfriend’s computer to view meetings between investment bankers and companies.
Steven Teixeira, who served as chief compliance officer for the U.S. arm of China’s LianLian Global, pleaded guilty to the federal charges under a cooperation agreement. The SEC charges remain outstanding, the agency said on Thursday.
Teixeira allegedly obtained insider information, including advance knowledge of Broadcom’s announced $65 billion acquisition of VMware from 2022, and shared it with an associate for profit. The SEC says Teixeira got the information from the Outlook calendars and files of his girlfriend, who was employed as an executive assistant at an unnamed New York-based investment bank.
The non-public information included term sheet data and deal planning by a host of technology companies, including for the VMware deal and Thoma Bravo’s planned purchase of Proofpoint, allegedly allowing Teixeira to collect over $730,000 in profit.
Teixeira’s girlfriend, who was not named in the complaint, asked him “to check her work email while she was away during the workday, and to alert her if she received emails that required her attention.”
Proofpoint was taken private in 2021 by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in a $12.3 billion deal, within the timeframe that Teixeira was allegedly trading on insider information. Teixeira purchased options on Proofpoint stock on April 22, 2021, days ahead of the announcement. Broadcom’s deal for VMware has been delayed by regulators.
Teixeira allegedly shared the insider information with his associate, Jordan Meadow, who is also charged with violating federal insider trading laws.
Meadow used the information in his work as an investment advisor, steering his clients towards lucrative opportunities and gaining “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in commissions, the SEC alleged.
Meadow also faces federal charges, which were unveiled on Thursday, in the Southern District of New York.
“Our complaint alleges brazen betrayals of trust by Teixeira, who misappropriated information from his girlfriend’s laptop to make a quick buck, and by industry-veteran Meadow, who was all too eager to use the information to line his pockets,” Scott Thompson, SEC’s Philadelphia associate regional director, said in a press release.