Former Bristol-Myers executive admits to insider trading

Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:34pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - A former Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N: Quote) finance executive on Monday pleaded guilty to an insider trading charge, admitting to buying stock options in a biotechnology company that the drugmaker was preparing to buy.

Robert Ramnarine, 46, admitted to one count of securities fraud for trading in Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc options before Bristol-Myers agreed to buy that company last June for $5.3 billion, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey said.

Federal prosecutors had last August charged Ramnarine with three counts of securities fraud.

They said he made $311,361 of illegal profit from August 2010 to July 2012 from options trading in Amylin and two other companies that Bristol-Myers sought to buy - Pharmasset Inc and ZymoGenetics Inc.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a parallel civil fraud case against Ramnarine.

Investigators said Ramnarine learned about the takeovers while working as a director and later as an executive director in Bristol-Myers' pension and savings investments office in Princeton, New Jersey.

They also said the East Brunswick, New Jersey resident did Internet searches on insider trading detection prior to some of his trades, including a review of an article titled "Ways to Avoid Insider Trading."

Ramnarine entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson in Trenton, New Jersey.   Continued...