Big Bank Analyst Charged by SEC for Insider Trading Ahead of Biopharma Deals

Insider Trading Illegal

With a flair of irony, a former senior compliance analyst has been charged with using the very information he was hired to protect to earn profits for himself.  

Jose Luis Casero Sanchez took advantage of his position in Goldman Sachs' “control room” in Warsaw, Poland, to gain insider knowledge of upcoming transactions, including those for a number of biopharma companies. His duties were to safeguard nonpublic information to prevent insider trading. One of Sanchez’s responsibilities was to update the “Grey List,” which tracked clients with pending mergers, acquisitions and financing. 

Allegedly trading under his parents’ names with multiple US-based brokerage firms, Sanchez generated more than $471,000 for himself. 

In a civil complaint filed by the SEC, Sanchez traded on at least 45 events involving his employer’s clients from September 2020 and May 2021. He’d been at the company for a year before the trades began. The SEC’s close watch caught on quickly, though.  

“Despite Sanchez’s alleged efforts to avoid detection … the SEC’s keen analysis stitched together this pattern of suspicious trading and exposed gross violations of duty by a compliance professional who exploited the sensitive information he was hired to protect.” Joseph Sansone, chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit, said

After Sanchez was approached by the SEC near the end of May, he quickly resigned from his position and withdrew funds to transfer to a bank account in his home country, Spain. His last known address is in Granada, Spain. 

The SEC is seeking to freeze the assets of Sanchez and his parents, who are not accused of wrongdoing but are named as “relief defendants” in the case. The complaint also lists a permanent injunction against Sanchez, forbidding him from any future transactions or like-business. 

Sanchez’s scheme targeted a handful of biopharma companies. His first target appears to be AMAG Pharmaceuticals. Upon accessing confidential information regarding Covis Group’s proposed tender offer, Sanchez began buying immediately. When the deal was done, he raked in almost $31,000. 

Sanchez profited from insider information before the Horizon's $3.05 billion buy of Viella, Jazz's $7.2 billion purchase of GW Pharmaceuticals, and the SPAC deals for Nautilus (February) and Roivant (May).  

Regarding Sanchez, Goldman said in a statement, “We condemn this egregious behavior, which violates our standards of conduct and business principles. We are fully cooperating with the SEC.” 

According to a LinkedIn profile that has now been deleted, Sanchez went to work for UBS Group AG, a global financial services firm, after resigning from Goldman.  

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