The US Securities and Exchange Commission has taken a former SAP executive to court over alleged insider trading prior to the vendor's acquisitions of listed companies.
In the complaint filed at a US district court [pdf], the SEC alleged that Christopher Salis was the mastermind of the insider trading scheme, which involved his then-employer Business Objects as well as Concur Technologies, together with his high-school friend Douglas Miller.
Salis caught wind of SAP wanting to acquire Business Objects prior to the 2007 takeover, the SEC claims, and tipped off Miller who in turn informed his brother Edward and friend Barrett Biehl.
Miller further notified his parents and another friend, who all bought Business Objects shares ahead of the SAP acquisition, according to the SEC complaint.
In 2014, the SEC alleges, Salis, Miller and his brother and parents repeated the insider trading with SAP's Concur Technologies acquisition.
Salis had again learnt of SAP's confidential and non-public plans to buy Concur Technologies, and tipped off Miller who started trading in the securities of the company to be acquired.
The six put in a total of US$45,000 (A$61,000) in the insider trading schemes, and reaped a total profit of US$545,000 (A$735,500), the SEC said.
The SEC said the Miller brothers were struggling financially to keep a failing car wash business afloat, and the Concur Technologies insider trading was their "possible saviour".
A text message by Miller allegedly said: "This is what we all need to weather any storm and put us on top bro! Just make sure your [sic] a squirrel and sock it away … I hope were [sic] dancing in the streets in the next 4-5 Weeks!."
The Miller brothers tried to hide the trading by keeping brokerage deposits below US$10,000, thinking the amounts would not be reported, the SEC said.
After Business Objects was acquired by SAP, Salis served as the tech giant's global vice president and general manager for procurement until September last year.