Ex-Microsoft manager Brian Jorgenson was sentenced to two years in prison today after pleading guilty to charges of insider trading. The 32-year-old worked in Microsoft’s corporate finance and investment division and used confidential information to help a friend, Sean Stokke, make trades that earned the pair more than $400,000 in an 18-month period. The duo started making the insider trades after Jorgenson told Stokke in 2012 about Microsoft’s plans to invest in Barnes & Noble. At the time, Stokke purchased options predicting that Barnes & Noble’s stock would rise, ahead of the announcement. The bookseller’s stock price jumped after Microsoft revealed its investment, and netted Stokke $184,000, which he shared with Jorgenson.
A former Microsoft Corp employee was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday for his part in an insider trading scheme that netted him and his partner more than $400,000. Brian Jorgenson, 32, had pleaded guilty to securities fraud for his part in a sophisticated operation in which he passed private information he gleaned from his job as a corporate finance manager at Microsoft to a former colleague who traded stocks and options. “It is important that you serve as a public example,” U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said in handing down the sentence in Seattle federal court. Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of 2-1/2 years for Jorgenson, who they say was the instigator of the scheme. Jorgenson, a father of four with no history of crime, had asked for one year and a day imprisonment, plus 500 hours of community service. Jorgenson’s day-trader accomplice Sean Stokke, 29, was sentenced to 1-1/2 years in prison two weeks ago. The maximum penalty for insider trading is 20 years. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission jointly charged the two men in December with operating an insider trading scheme. Jorgenson was fired by Microsoft soon after the scheme came to light.
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