Daily Dash: SEC Charges US Fintech CEO With Insider Trading Violations

January 15, 2024
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A fintech CEO has been charged with using a secret offshore account to prop up his own stock price, and new research has found that the UK is Europe’s most advanced digital economy.

SEC Charges US Fintech CEO With Insider Trading Violations

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Shanchun Huang with manipulative trading in the stock of Future FinTech Group Inc., whose services include cross-border payments.

Huang is said to have used an offshore account in Hong Kong to buy Future FinTech stock shortly before he became CEO in 2020. He is also charged with failing to disclose beneficial ownership of the stock and previous stock transactions.

In late 2019 or early 2020, according to the SEC’s complaint, Huang was approached by Future FinTech’s founder and former CEO about the possibility of Huang becoming CEO.

In January 2020, when Huang allegedly used an account in Hong Kong to place trades in Future FinTech stock, the company was at risk of being delisted from the Nasdaq due to its share price falling below the minimum bid price of $1.

Huang allegedly bought more than 530,000 shares over two months and repeatedly traded large volumes, with his trades constituting a high percentage of the daily volume of Future FinTech stock transactions.

“Timely disclosure of insider stock transactions is a fundamental component of the federal securities laws that ensures the fair operation of our securities markets,” said Sheldon Pollock, associate regional director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.

“CEOs should assume that the use of an offshore account will not prevent the staff of the SEC from identifying manipulative trading.”

UK Is Most Advanced Digital Economy In Europe, Says New Research

New research from a key big technology trade association has found that the UK is the most advanced digital economy in Europe and a prime destination for tech companies of all sizes.

The research from the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) found that the UK’s tech sector plays an “outsized role” in supporting the UK economy, producing £113bn in gross value per year.

The CCIA, whose members include Apple, Google, Amazon and Meta, also found that the UK’s tech sector supports more than 2.6m jobs and pays an average salary of £45,700 per year — 37 percent more than the UK average.

“The data is clear: a healthy UK tech industry means a healthy UK economy,” said Trevor Wagener, chief economist and research centre director at CCIA.

“These findings reveal that the UK’s robust tech sector doesn’t just benefit the companies at the top — its success contributes massively to the country’s workers, businesses of all sizes and the wider economy across the UK.

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