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Swiss trader pays $2.85 million in Apple insider-trading case

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The SEC has charged a Swiss man for insider trading that it says led to a $1.8 million profit on an Apple acquisition in 2012.

Helmut Anscheringer allegedly heard from a “longtime friend” that Apple was acquiring AuthenTec and purchased stock and call options before the acquisition was publicly disclosed, the SEC said on Monday. Founded in 1998, AuthenTec makes technology for fingerprint recognition in mobile devices and went public in 2007.

After Apple (AAPL) announced the acquisition on July 27, 2012, shares of AuthenTec closed at 60% above the previous day’s closing price, leading to a $1.8 million profit for Anscheringer, the SEC said. Apple acquired the company for $355 million in cash.

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The SEC says it discovered Anscheringer’s activities after investigating a trading account registered to a British Virgin Islands entity for which he’s listed as the beneficiary.

Without admitting or denying the charges, Anscheringer agreed to pay a total of $2.85 million in fines, the SEC said.