Viky Bohra, a 37-year old man from Bothel, Washington, and the wife of an Amazon finance employee, was sentenced to 26 months in prison, after he pleaded guilty in November 2020 to having used inside information about the firm that he obtained from his wife, to place trades in Amazon’s stocks, between 2016-2018.
White Collar Crime: Used Information from Wife to Place Trades on Stocks
The verdict was announced by Acting US Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Bohra had reportedly made a profit worth $1,428,264 by placing the trades, and US District Judge James L. Robart noted that he had turned his wife, as well his father, into accomplices in his crime. The Judge also called for “white collar crimes” to receive an equal treatment as “street crimes”.
Attorney Gorman called Bohra “greedy”, and said that even though his wife and his earned “hundreds of thousands of dollars” through their tech-related jobs, he wasn’t satisfied, and instead restorted to illegally profiting by trading Amazon’s stocks. She further said that this case should serve as a warning to people who “try to game the markets with insider trading”, adding that felony convictions and prison sentences await those who try to make illegal profits.
Blackout Periods Bring in Gold
The US Department of Justice revealed that the records filed in the case showed Bohra’s wife having access to confidential data pertaining to the revenue and expenses at Amazon. As such, the couple were often subjected to so-called “blackout periods”, when any type of stocks trading at Amazon was prohibited. Bohra’s wife was entrusted with the confidential information, and was charged with keeping the information safe. But this didn’t stop Bohra from gaining access to the information, and using it to trade in Amazon stocks using his and his father’s bank accounts. This continued between 2016 to 2018, during the blackout periods, wherein Bohra relied on confidential information from his wife to make a series of successful trades, even before Amazon officially announced its earnings.
FBI Special Agent in Charge at the Seattle Field Office, Donald M. Voiret, accused Bohra of undermining the trust that the public holds in financial markets, saying that he was driven “solely by greed”.
33 Months Possible, But No Forfeiture
Prosecutors however, demanded that the sentence be prolonged to 33 months, citing that fact that Bohra made more than $1.4 million in illegal stocks, in “11 straight earnings announcements.”
So far, Bohra and his family have paid $2,652,899 in disgorgement, and so, authorities are not seeking forfeiture. Moreover, as part of the plea agreement, Bohra’s wife has been exempted from a prison term. She is no longer an Amazon employee.
Source: US Department of Justice