An ex-Merrill Lynch advisor and his client face federal charges after allegedly setting up a network of offshore accounts to conceal an insider trading scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that former Qualcomm executive Jing Wang and his advisor, Gary Yin, made illegal trades in his company’s stock and that of a company purchased by Qualcomm. From 2006 to 2012, Yin and Wang both set up offshore entities to disguise their trades and hide some $271,644 in total profit, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Yin, who began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1994, met Wang in 2005 at a church they both attended, according to the complaint. At the time, Yin was a senior vice president and international wealth advisor in Merrill Lynch’s San Diego branch office.

Yin helped Wang set up “sham brokerage accounts,” according to the complaint, which were registered in the British Virgin Islands under family members’ names to disguise ownership. The complaint also alleges that Yin created his own offshore account in the British Virgin Islands under the name of his mother-in-law.

The two funneled money into those accounts in order to make trades based on information such as the announcement of a Qualcomm revenue revision and the company’s 2011 acquisition of Atheros Communications, the SEC alleges.

The complaint said Yin’s own trading accounted for approximately $27,000 of the $271,644 total profit.

Neither Wang’s Attorney, Brian Hennigan, nor Yin’s attorney, Frank Vecchione, responded to requests for comment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch placed Yin on leave once the firm learned of the SEC’s investigation in February 2013, according to a Bill Halldin, a spokesman for the firm on legal issues. Yin was discharged from the firm in April, according to FINRA records.

“Once we determined he had provided inaccurate information during an internal inquiry, we terminated him,” Halldin said. “We have cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation of this matter and will continue to do so.”

 

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