Former Qualcomm executive pleads guilty to insider trading

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014 04:01 hrs

By Jonathan Stempel

REUTERS - A former president of Qualcomm Inc's global business operations pleaded guilty on Monday to insider trading in shares of the mobile phone chipmaker and a company it bought in 2011, as well as to a related money laundering charge.

Jing Wang, 51, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge William Hayes in San Diego, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wang was indicted last September along with his brother Bing Wang and broker Gary Yin, who worked at Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch unit.

Yin pleaded guilty last September to conspiring to help the brothers obstruct justice and launder money. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15. An arrest warrant is outstanding for Bing Wang, who is believed to live in China.

Lawyers for Jing Wang did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prosecutors accused Jing Wang of making about $250,000 of illegal insider trading gains in 2010 and 2011.

They said he traded in Qualcomm shares based on material nonpublic information about an unexpected announcement of a dividend increase and stock repurchase, and just before the company announced record results.

Wang was also accused of trading in shares of Atheros Communications Inc upon learning in December 2010 that Qualcomm had made a non-public offer to buy the company.

Prosecutors said Wang also pleaded guilty to laundering insider trading proceeds through a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands. Wang did this to disguise ownership and avoid taxes, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last September filed related civil charges against Jing Wang and Yin. San Diego-based Qualcomm was not charged.

The case is U.S. v. Wang et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, No. 13-cr-03487.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

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