SEC Charges Three Southern California Siblings with Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed charges against siblings Marco A. Perez (aka Marc), Pedro Perez, Jr. (aka Peter), and Olivia P. Durbin for insider trading before the April 2021 announcement of an offer by storage company United Rentals Inc. to acquire General Finance Corp. The three defendants, all of whom reside in Southern California, realized a combined total of $650,000 in illegal profits from their trading.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Marco Perez, formerly a General Finance accounting manager, learned in late February 2021 of United Rentals’ interest in acquiring General Finance. As alleged, Marco Perez then began purchasing General Finance shares and continued to do so as he learned about progress on the acquisition. According to the complaint, Marco Perez tipped Pedro Perez and Durbin and encouraged them to buy General Finance shares, including by telling Pedro Perez that he was “all in.” As alleged, Pedro Perez and Durbin then bought General Finance shares as well. When United Rentals announced the acquisition, General Finance’s share price increased from $12.17 to $18.95 and trading volume soared 19,000 percent. As alleged in the complaint, the defendants sold or tendered their shares and realized combined profits of $650,000.
“As our complaint alleges, Marco Perez completely disregarded his duty to avoid taking personal advantage of confidential, nonpublic information entrusted to him by his then employer,” said Katharine E. Zoladz, Co-Acting Regional Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office. “We will continue to pursue and prosecute insider trading violations to hold company insiders accountable for their actions.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in the Central District of California, charges the defendants with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Without denying the allegations in the SEC’s complaint, Marco Perez consented to a partial judgment, subject to court approval, permanently enjoining him from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, ordering that he pay disgorgement with prejudgment interest and a civil penalty in amounts to be determined, and imposing a five-year officer and director bar. Without admitting or denying the allegations of the SEC’s complaint, Pedro Perez consented to a judgment, subject to court approval, permanently enjoining him from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, ordering him to pay disgorgement with prejudgment interest of $141,251.79 and a civil penalty of $127,142.32, and imposing a five-year officer and director bar. Without admitting or denying the allegations of the SEC’s complaint, Durbin consented to a judgment permanently enjoining her from securities fraud and ordering her to pay disgorgement with prejudgment interest of $38,638.28 and a civil penalty of $34,867.17.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California today announced securities fraud charges against Marco Perez.
The SEC’s ongoing investigation is being conducted by Roberto Tercero and supervised by Finola H. Manvelian from the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.