U.S. charges former Amazon manager and her family members with insider trading

Katanga Johnson and Michelle Price
·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: To match Special Report SEC/INVESTIGATIONS
FILE PHOTO: To match Special Report SEC/INVESTIGATIONS

By Katanga Johnson and Michelle Price

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged a former finance manager at Amazon.com, Inc. and two of her family members with insider trading in advance of the company's earnings announcements between January 2016 and July 2018.

The SEC alleged that Laksha Bohra, who worked as a senior manager in Amazon's tax department, 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, then traded on this confidential information, reaping illicit profits of approximately $1.4 million.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in Seattle, charges all three Bohras with violating anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. They have agreed 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.

"We allege that the Bohras repeatedly and systematically used Amazon's confidential information for their own gain," said Erin Schneider, who serves as 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," he added.

Each of the Bohras did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Amazon declined to comment.

(Reporting by Katanga Johnson and Michelle Price; Additional reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Sandra Maler and Aurora Ellis)