TRENTON – A former executive with global pharmaceuticals giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) admitted Monday to trading on inside information regarding a public company that BMS was in the process of acquiring, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Robert Ramnarine, 46, of East Brunswick, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with securities fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ramnarine was employed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) from 1997 to August 2012. From March 2008 on, he held a variety of high-level, executive positions at the company, including director of Pensions and Savings Investments (March 2008-June 2011), executive director of Pensions and Savings Investments (June 2011-July 2012), and assistant treasurer for Capital Markets (July 2012-August 2012). As a result of these positions, Ramnarine was involved in evaluating potential acquisition targets for Bristol Meyers Squibb, including publicly traded companies, and was privy to inside company information concerning such transactions. He was legally banned from disclosing confidential information and material, nonpublic information he learned through his employment or from using such information for his personal benefit or the benefit of others.
During May and June 2012, Ramnarine, traded on material, nonpublic information regarding the company’s anticipated acquisition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., a publicly traded company. The material, nonpublic information available to Ramnarine enabled him to reap substantial profits by engaging in lucrative trading in stock options of Amylin shortly before BMS announced its plans to acquire Amylin in late June 2012. As part of his plea, Ramnarine admitted today that for purposes of sentencing his relevant criminal conduct includes $311,361 in illicit gains he made from trading in stock options of not only Amylin, but also several other BMS acquisition targets – ZymoGenentics Inc. and Pharmasset Inc., a company for which BMS submitted a bid through a confidential auction process, but which was subsequently acquired by Gilead Sciences.
Ramnarine faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2013.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea. He also thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Market Abuse Unit and Philadelphia Regional Office, under the direction of Daniel M. Hawke, for its assistance, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., for its cooperation during the investigation.
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