Needham police officer charged with insider trading

Learned in advance of Analog Devices purchase of Linear Technology

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

TWO MEN  from Needham,  one of them a police officer, and a Rhode Island man were arrested Wednesday in connection with an alleged conspiracy to trade based on inside information.

US Attorney Rachael Rollins announced the arrests, with her office saying the charges stem from information shared about the planned acquisition of California semiconductor company Linear Technology Corp. by Norwood-based Analog Devices Inc.

According to prosecutors, David Forte, 58, of Acton, an officer with the Needham Police Department, beginning in June 2016 obtained “material non-public information” from a close relative who is a senior executive at Analog about the company’s plans to acquire Linear Technology. The name of the senior executive was blacked out in the charging document,  but it appeared to be Forte’s brother, who lives in Canton.

Forte allegedly passed the information on to close friends John Younis, 59, of Bristol, R.I., and Gregory Manning, 59, of Needham, who purchased shares of Linear stock in the week leading up to the public announcement of the acquisition, according to prosecutors.

“Younis also allegedly purchased call options – which are a bet that the price of a stock will increase prior to the expiration of the option – and tipped a business associate to purchase Linear shares as well,” the US Attorney’s office said. “After the deal was announced, Manning, Younis and Younis’ associate allegedly sold their Linear securities at a profit, and Manning paid Forte a kickback in appreciation for Forte”s stock tip.”

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According to the charging document, Younnis made a $52,000 profit, Manning turned a profit of $34,751, and Younis’ associate made $11,017. Manning told investigators he gave Forte a “couple of thousand.”

Each man faces one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a charge that comes with a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.