SEC Obtains Final Judgments – Netflix Insider Trading Ring

Posted on July 7, 2022Comments Off on SEC Obtains Final Judgments – Netflix Insider Trading Ring

SEC Obtains Final Judgments Against Defendants in Netflix Insider Trading Ring

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Sung Mo Jun, Joon Jun, Junwoo Chon, Ayden Lee, and Jae Hyeon Bae, No. 2:21-cv-01108-RAJ (W.D. Wash. filed August 18, 2021)

On July 5, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington entered final judgments by consent against the four remaining defendants who were charged for their roles in a scheme to trade confidential information about Netflix’s subscriber growth.

The SEC’s complaint, filed on August 18, 2021, alleged Sung Mo Jun, while employed at Netflix in 2016 and 2017, tipped his brother, Joon Mo Jun, and his close friend, Junwoo Chon, about Netflix’s subscriber growth, a key metric Netflix reported in its quarterly earnings announcements, and that both tippees used the information to trade in advance of multiple Netflix earnings announcements.  The complaint further alleged that after Sung Mo Jun left Netflix in 2017, he obtained confidential Netflix subscriber information from another Netflix insider, Ayden Lee.  Sung Mo Jun then allegedly traded himself and tipped Joon Jun and Chon in advance of Netflix earnings announcements from 2017 to 2019.  The SEC alleged that Sung Mo Jun’s former Netflix colleague Jae Hyeon Bae, another Netflix engineer, tipped Joon Jun based on Netflix’s subscriber growth information in advance of Netflix’s July 2019 earnings announcement.  According to the complaint, Sung Mo Jun, Joon Jun, and Chon made approximately $3 million in total profits from the illegal scheme.

Sung Mo Jun, Joon Jun, Chon, and Lee consented to the entry of final judgments that resolve all claims and permanently enjoin each of them from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  Sung Mo Jun also agreed to an officer and director bar.  The Court previously entered a final judgment against Bae, permanently enjoining him from violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 and imposing a civil penalty of $72,875.

In a parallel action brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, Sung Mo Jun, Joon Jun, Chon, and Lee each pleaded guilty to related criminal charges.  Sung Mo Jun was sentenced to 24 months in prison and was ordered to forfeit $495,000.  Joon Jun was sentenced to 13 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.11 million.  Chon was sentenced to 14 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.58 million.  Lee was sentenced to three years of probation.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Rahul Kolhatkar of the San Francisco Regional Office and Jonathan Warner of the Market Abuse Unit, with assistance from John Rymas, Hugh Beck, and Darren Boerner of the Market Abuse Unit’s Analysis and Detection Center and Rachita Gullapalli and Erin Smith of the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.  The case was supervised by Jennifer J. Lee and Monique C. Winkler of the San Francisco Regional Office and Steven Buchholz and Joseph Sansone of the Market Abuse Unit.

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