FDA Chemist Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

FDA Chemist Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

October 19th, 2011 // 12:45 pm @

Seven months after his scheme came to light, FDA chemist Cheng Yi Liang pleaded guilty today to charges that he used confidential information about upcoming announcements of 27 different FDA approval decisions involving 19 publicly traded companies and generated more than $3.6 million in illegal profits for himself.

The 57-year-old Liang pleaded guilty to one count of insider trading and one count of false statements. He now faces up to 20 years in prison for the insider trading charge and another five years, plus a $5 million fine, for the other charges.

His son, Andrew Liang, last month pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography found during the insider trading investigation. The younger Liang, who was charged with one count of child pornography, faces 10 years in prison; a $250,000 fine; supervisory release up to life, and would have to register as a sex offender, if convicted .

The arrests, by the way, raised a thorny issue for the FDA. There has long been speculation among investors – disgruntled and otherwise – that some agency employees may take advantage of insider info themselves or horsetrade with others. Such assumptions may be unfair to FDA employees, but this episode cast yet another harsh spotlight on the agency.

Source: Pharmalot

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