The former senior partner of a law firm acquired shares in Worldwide Holdings in the months leading up to an announcement that the firm would be privatised.
Malaysia’s SC (Securities Commission) has been awarded about MYR 3.1 million (USD 748,000) by the High Court after it won a civil suit against a corporate lawyer accused of insider trading.
The SC took 60-year-old Datuk Sreesanthan Eliathamby to court in 2016 for allegedly breaching the Securities Industry Act for trades involving Worldwide Holdings, which was listed on Bursa Malaysia but has since been privatised.
Datuk Sreesanthan was alleged to have acquired 600,000 shares of Worldwide Holdings while in possession of material non-public information relating to the proposed privatisation.
The shares were purchased between June 2006 and July 2006, when Datuk Sreesanthan served as a senior partner at a law firm and acted as a legal adviser for the proposed privatisation, which was not announced until 23 August 2006.
In a ruling delivered on Wednesday (4 November), the High Court ordered Datuk Sreesanthan to pay to the SC a sum of MYR 1.99 million, being an amount equal to three times the profits gained as a result of his insider trading.
Datuk Sreesanthan was also ordered to pay the SC a civil penalty of MYR 1,000,000 and barred from being a director of any public listed company for a period of 10 years.
The SC was also awarded costs of MYR 100,000 in miscellaneous legal costs, bringing the total Datuk Sreesanthan has to pay to about MYR 3.1 million.