Marco Antonio Perez, a 59-year-old from Glendora, was charged with one count of insider trading in September 2023. He agreed to plead guilty to buying over 66,000 company shares based on insider information that was not available to the public and allowed him to both purchase and sell shares for a higher price per share. If convicted, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Insider Information Violates Fiduciary Duties
Perez worked as an accounting manager at General Finance Corp., a Pasadena-based storage and modular space company. Part of his duties was to perform assignments for the company's chairman, which gave Perez access to the chairman's emails. Allegedly, Perez used this access to review General Finance's material information before it was released to the public. He then used this information to purchase tens of thousands of shares of General Finance stock.
Just a few months later, General Finance was bought by United Rentals Inc. for $19 a share. Two weeks after announcing the sale, Perez sold all of his shares, netting a profit of about $488,533. In his plea agreement, Perez admits to tipping off two other people about the sale to United Rentals. Purchasing shares using insider information, offering the insider information to others, and selling the shares he bought using insider information is allegedly a violation of his fiduciary duties.
How a Skilled Attorney Can Help
Individuals working in a company's finance department have a legal responsibility to act in the company's best interest. Objectively, purchasing company shares using insider information and then selling them is not exactly doing what is best for the company. In this case, Perez has agreed to plead guilty, though the article does not state what the state agreed to in response to this plea. A skilled criminal defense attorney would ensure that this agreement is the only – and best – option for the defendant before accepting it.