SEC charges another biotech profiteer linked to insider trading scheme

In the end, it was a Metrocard that helped SEC sleuths nab another investor for participating in a biotech insider trading ring.

The culprit, according to the SEC, is New York filmmaker Lawrence Robbins, who was allegedly plugged into a grapevine that reached to Scott Allen, a staffer at a consulting firm which helped advise Takeda on its buyout of Millennium back in 2008 and the Dainippon Sumitomo acquisition of Sepracor a year later. Allen got the tip and passed it in to John Michael Bennett, who in turn called Robbins.

The SEC had already revealed its charges against Bennett and Allen in 2011.

The SEC investigators were able to link Allen with Bennett by phone calls as well as in-person meetings, tracking their movements via Metrocards. Bennett and Robbins, who were partners, together bought up shares in the target companies ahead of the announcement and ended up making $2.6 million, according to the SEC.

Robbins invested some of that money on his filmmaking business, but it apparently didn't earn a good return. Robbins agreed to pay $865,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and a $150,000 penalty. The settlement took into account Robbins' "current financial condition." 

- here's the release from the SEC