The man who was Chief Financial Office of a pharmaceutical company called Immunomedics is accused of illegally giving inside information to a woman he lived, who was the company's head of communications.
According to the Department of Justice, Usama Malik was recently arrested in an insider trading scheme along with Lauren Wood. They are charged with securities fraud.
The Justice Department says Malik illegally shared positive information about pre-market studies of a breast cancer drug in 2020 before the material was publicly available.
Wood allegedly then purchased 7,000 shared of Immunomedics stock, sold the stock, and doubled her investment. According to the Justice Department: "After selling her shares, Wood more than doubled her investment, realizing gross profits of $213,618, and returning $65,000 to Malik."
Below is more information from the Justice Department:
NEWARK, N.J. – The former chief financial officer and the former head of corporate communications for a biopharmaceutical company were arrested for their roles in an insider trading scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Usama Malik, 47, and Lauren S. Wood, 33, both of Washington, D.C., are charged by complaint with securities fraud. Malik and Wood were both arrested on Dec. 1, 2021. Malik is scheduled to appear this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui in Washington, D.C., federal court. Wood is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson in Alexandria, Virginia, federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2018 through October 2020, Malik was the chief financial officer (CFO) of a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. On April 6, 2020, Company-1 publicly announced for the first time that its breast cancer drug – an antibody-based drug designed to treat certain breast cancer patients who had very limited treatment options beyond chemotherapy – had proven effective in pre-market clinical trials. In October 2020, Biopharmaceutical Company-2 acquired Company-1 for approximately $21 billion.
Company-1’s CFO, Malik was among the first, and one of the few, employees who received the material non-public information about the breast cancer drug before the April 6, 2020 announcement. Within minutes of obtaining that information, Malik passed it along to Wood, who lived with Malik at the time and was formerly the head of corporate communications for Company-1. Malik also provided the non-public information to a number of his relatives. Before April 6, 2020, and within hours of receiving the insider information from Malik, Wood placed an order for approximately 7,000 shares of Company-1 stock, despite the fact that Company-1 stock had recently been downgraded by financial experts. After Company-1 announced on April 6, 2020, that its cancer drug had proven effective in pre-market clinical trials, Company-1’s stock price increased. After selling her shares, Wood more than doubled her investment, realizing gross profits of $213,618, and returning $65,000 to Malik.