A Los Altos man pleaded guilty to insider trading last week. Hyung Lim, 45, had been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He obtained inside information about quarterly earnings from an NVIDIA Corp. employee between 2008 and 2011 and passed it on to a wealth-management analyst trading in NVIDIA’s stock.
At the Sept. 4 hearing in Manhattan, Lim also pleaded guilty to wire fraud for relaying inside information he obtained while working at Alterra Corp. between 2005 and 2008. Lim’s sentencing is scheduled for next year.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint, Lim received $15,000 and stock tips as rewards for providing a fellow poker player, Danny Kuo, with “nonpublic details ahead of NVIDIA’s quarterly earnings announcements.”
Kuo pleaded guilty in April to trading on the information and passing it on to hedge fund advisory firms Diamondback Capital Management LLC and Level Global Investors LP. The SEC charged Kuo and the firms earlier this year, alleging they had made nearly $16 million trading in NVIDIA securities based on Lim’s inside information.
According to the SEC, Kuo compensated Lim in the form of two cash payments of $5,000 each, stock tips that netted Lim more than $11,000 and by wiring $5,000 to a Las Vegas casino to cover Lim’s debt.
The SEC’s case against Los Altos company SB Capital Corp. remains under way this month.