SEC Charges Ex-Consol Energy Employees with Insider Trading
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a civil action against three former employees of CONSOL Energy, Inc. for illegal insider trading in CONSOL securities in advance of the company’s public announcement, on March 15, 2010, that it entered into an agreement to acquire the Appalachian Exploration and Production business of Dominion Resources, Inc.
The SEC alleges that on March 9, 2010, both Charles E. Mazur Jr., CONSOL’s former Director of Corporate Strategy, and Joseph A. Cerenzia, CONSOL’s former Director of Public Relations, received a confidential email stating that the acquisition of Dominion was going to be announced prior to the opening of the market on March 15, 2010. Both individuals traded CONSOL securities after learning of the pending acquisition announcement. James S. Poland, CONSOL’s former General Manager of Engineering, conducted an environmental survey in connection with the of the Dominion acquisition. Poland also traded CONSOL stock after receiving nonpublic information about the acquisition and when it would be announced.
Mazur agreed to pay approximately $97,171 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. Poland agreed to pay approximately $19,600 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. Cerenzia agreed to pay approximately $15,453 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. The settlements are subject to court approval.
Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority (ORSA) assisted in the probe.