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Indian-American investor convicted in insider trading case

Representational Picture

New York, Oct 21 (UITV)- An Indian-origin private equity investor has been found guilty of conspiracy and securities fraud charges in the US for tipping off two friends about a proposed 2013 acquisition of a firm by India-based Apollo Tyres, an insider trading scheme that netted over US $1 million.

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said that 47-year-old Amit Kanodia was convicted of 10 counts of security fraud and one count of conspiracy, with each count representing the purchase of Copper Tire securities by co-conspirators Iftikat Ahmed and Steven Watson.

Prosecutors say Ahmed and Watson bought Cooper Tire shares before the public announcement of the acquisition, than sold their interests for more than $1 million as Cooper Tire’s share prices increased after the announcement. Both Ahmed and Watson paid Kanodia a portion of their illegal profits.

Ahmed, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and Harvard Business School, previously fled to India in May 2015 after prosecutors accused him and longtime friend Kanodia for having engaged in insider trading.

Ahmed remains a fugitive, while Watson pleaded guilty and is set to be sentenced in November.

The conspiracy statute provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 while the securities fraud statute provides a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million.