SAN JOSE, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – Guolin Ma, a former consultant to two China-based private equity firms, will pay more than $756,000 to settle allegations of insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced.

Ma allegedly obtained confidential information while consulting for the firms that pursued a buyout of OmniVision Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based maker of optical semiconductor devices. One of the firms Ma advised decided to go through with the acquisition. Ma purportedly bought up 39,373 shares of OmniVision using non-public knowledge of the oncoming sale and made $367,387 in illegal profits when the sale was announced and the stock soared.

“Guolin Ma breached a duty of trust and confidence to the private equity firms when he bought thousands of shares of OmniVision stock while aware of the impending transaction,” Joseph G. Sansone, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, said. “It was a costly mistake because the settlement requires him to pay back double his illegal trading profits.”

Ma did not admit or deny allegations, but agreed to disgorge the money and add $21,986 in interest. Ma also paid a penalty of $367,387.

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