David Roda, a former Penn Interactive employee, has been charged with insider trading. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. Charges were filed by Criminal Information.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. is the parent company of Penn Interactive, where Roda served as its Director of Backend Architecture.
According to the allegations, Roda learned last July that the company was considering a deal to acquire Score Media and Gaming, Inc., information he knew must remain confidential. Roda allegedly bought 200 Score Media call option contracts for close to $13,000.
Then he alleged purchased another 300 contracts from Score Media for another $7,000 after receiving word that Penn Interactive would be announcing the acquisition within a few days.
Once the announcement was made public, Roda allegedly closed his contracts with Score Media after stock prices rose. The total gain was almost $580,000, with the defendant’s personal profits totaling nearly $560,000.
Attorney Williams commented: “Insider trading undermines faith in our financial markets and harms ordinary investors who play by the rules.
“As alleged, David Roda placed himself above the law by using information to which he had privileged access to cheat the market and other investors. Our office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of the financial markets.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated the case, which is now being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Murray. A parallel civil enforcement was filed under the direction of Norman Ostrove by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Philadelphia Regional Office.
FBI Philadelphia Division Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire said: “David Roda allegedly traded on material, non-public information and made out like a bandit. Insider trading like that is patently unfair to investors and a direct threat to the integrity of our financial markets.
“The FBI takes this crime seriously, and if you decide the risk of such illegal behavior is worth the potential reward, know that we will investigate and ensure you’re held accountable.”