NASDAQ Exec “Fox In Henhouse”

A former NASDAQ executive has pleaded guilty to insider trading conducted using confidential information he garnered in his role as an adviser to public companies at the exchange.

Donald Johnson was a managing director on the markets intelligence desk at NASDAQ, where he advised members of senior management on how company news could affect their stock price.

In his role, Johnson regularly received ‘specific information about upcoming earnings releases, news releases and major personnel changes,’ according to documents filed in a Virginia court.

Along with the criminal charge, Johnson has been charged in a civil case by the SEC, which claims he pocketed more than $755,000 through his insider trading activities between 2006 and 2009, when he retired.

‘This case is the insider trading version of the fox guarding the henhouse,’ comments Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s division of enforcement, in a statement.

‘Instead of protecting NASDAQ client confidences, Johnson secretly traded on client information for personal gain, even using his NASDAQ office computer to make the trades.’

[Article by Tim Human, IR magazine]