A former senior manager in Amazon’s tax department has been charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Laksha Bohra allegedly acquired confidential information while she prepared and reviewed calculations used to formulate Amazon’s quarterly and annual earnings filed with the SEC between January 2016 and July 2018, according to a news release from the agency on Monday.
Bohra is accused of tipping information about Amazon’s financial performance to her husband, Viky Bohra. The complaint alleges that Viky Bohra and his father, Gotham Bohra, traded on the information in 11 separate accounts maintained by different members of the Bohra family.
Laksha Bohra is also said to have “disregarded quarterly reminders prohibiting her from passing material nonpublic information or recommending the purchase or sale of Amazon securities.” The family allegedly made $1.4 million in profits from the unlawful trading.
“We allege that the Bohras repeatedly and systematically used Amazon’s confidential information for their own gain,” Erin Schneider, director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, said in a statement. “Employees with access to confidential, potentially market-moving corporate information may not use that information to enrich themselves, their friends, or their families.”
The complaint filed in federal court in Seattle charges all three Bohras with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The three, all from Bothell, Wash., have consented to the entry of final judgments permanently enjoining them from further violations of the charged provisions, and ordering them to pay total disgorgement of $1,428,094, total prejudgment interest of $118,406, and total penalties of $1,106,399.
Amazon told GeekWire that it does not comment on active litigation.
Laksha Bohra started as a transfer pricing manager in Amazon’s tax department in December 2012 and was promoted to senior manager in May 2018, according to the court filing. Her employment was suspended on or around Oct. 25, 2018.
Viky Bohra is listed as a program manager at a Fortune 500 public technology company, and prior to that he worked as an engineer at two large public companies, the filing notes.