U.S. Indicts Corporate Audit Director on Securities Fraud Charges for Allegedly Profiting $286,000 from Insider Trading
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2014|
CHICAGO—A certified public accountant who was involved in the auditing process at a publicly traded company based in Chicago was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly engaging in insider trading of the company’s securities that made him an illegal profit of more than $286,000 in 2012. The defendant, Steven M. Dombrowski, who was the director of corporate audit for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., was charged with 16 counts of securities fraud in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury yesterday and announced today.
At the same time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it filed a civil enforcement action involving the insider trading allegations against Dombrowski yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Dombrowski, 49, of Chicago, will be arraigned on the criminal charges on a date yet to be determined in Federal Court.
According to the indictment, Dombrowski misused material, non-public information he knew about Allscripts’ performance for the first quarter of 2012 and purchased put options and engaged in short sales of stock through a trading account in his wife’s maiden name that he controlled, which resulted in illegal profits of approximately $286,211. The indictment seeks forfeiture of that amount from Dombrowski.
Dombrowski and the employees he supervised were responsible for auditing and testing the processes and procedures Allscripts used to compute and report its financial performance. Allscripts provides information technology solutions to the health care industry, and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol MDRX.
Between April 10 and April 28, 2012, a quarterly blackout period was in effect at Allscripts. The blackout prohibited certain employees, including Dombrowski, who were given written notice and who had access to material, non-public information, from engaging in insider trading 15 days before the end of a quarter and ending after the second full business day following the company’s quarterly earnings announcement.
Dombrowski allegedly learned in April 2012 through his employment that Allscripts’ first quarter financial results were going to be less favorable than market expectations when they were publicly announced on April 26, 2012. Throughout April, Dombrowski conducted securities transactions that he designed to be profitable if the price of Allscripts stock declined, including purchasing put options and short selling stock, which he knew was prohibited, the indictment alleges. Allscripts’ stock, in fact, declined when its 2012 first quarter announcement revealed lower sales, less revenue, and lower earnings per share than the first quarter of 2011.
After Allscripts stock declined on and after April 26, 2012, Dombrowski allegedly offset his Allscripts securities positions and profited approximately $286,211 from insider trading, the charges allege.
The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The SEC cooperated in the investigation.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Clifford C. Histed and Paul H. Tzur.
Each count of securities fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.