Waksal settles charges
SEC says former ImClone chairman to pay more than $800,000 in fines and accept ban.
March 11, 2003: 5:50 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Former ImClone Chairman Sam Waksal has settled charges stemming from his attempted insider trading and agreed to pay more than $800,000 in fines, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.

Without admitting or denying charges against him, Waksal has agreed to be banned from serving as an executive of a public company to partially resolve an insider trading case brought by the SEC. The agreement will also settle new charges that Waksal bought ImClone put options through a Swiss account in December 2001.

Former ImClone Chairman Sam Waksal  
Former ImClone Chairman Sam Waksal

The agreement settles the SEC's allegations that Waksal illegally tried to sell about $5 million in ImClone stock between Dec. 26 and 28, 2001. According to the charge, he tried to make the sale after getting a tip that the Food and Drug Administration was going to publicly reject his company's application for approval of its anti-cancer drug, Erbitux.

The agreement also settles charges that Waksal told his daughter, Aliza, to sell all of her ImClone stock on Dec. 27.

The settlement will not stop the SEC from seeking unspecified penalties against Waksal and does not resolve the accusation that he tipped a family member other than his daughter, said Helene Glotzer, assistant regional director of the SEC's office in New York.

"We are glad that we have been able to reach this settlement with the SEC and that Dr. Waksal will be able to put this part of the legal issues behind him," said Lewis Liman, a lawyer representing him.

Other charges, including the accusation that he tipped another family member to sell ImClone stock on Dec. 27 and 28, will be settled after similar criminal charges against Waksal are resolved.

In related criminal proceedings, Waksal has pleaded guilty to six of 13 insider trading charges and awaits sentencing. He did not plead guilty to charges that said his father and daughter knew they had improper inside information before selling shares.

Last week Waksal also pleaded guilty to additional criminal charges of evading $1.2 million in sales taxes on art purchases.

Waksal's friend, home-decorating guru Martha Stewart, sold ImClone shares on Dec. 27, sales that are also being investigated by regulators. Stewart has insisted she did nothing wrong, saying she had no advance knowledge of the FDA decision on Erbitux. Stewart says she had an agreement with her broker to sell the shares if they fell below $60.

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Waksal pleads guilty

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO: unchanged at $7.45, Research, Estimates) have suffered as a result of the investigation into her company. ImClone (IMCL: down $0.43 to $14.82, Research, Estimates) shares have recovered some of their losses from earlier in the year.

Read the charges (PDF)
Updated SEC charges
Criminal charges

Waksal is just one of many executives who have been accused of white-collar crimes this year. Since the collapse of Enron Corp., former executives of WorldCom, Tyco International (TYC: down $0.33 to $13.70, Research, Estimates) and Adelphia Communications, as well as Enron, have been indicated for fraud, tax evasion and other charges.

Waksal resigned in May, when the company learned that federal charges were going to be filed.  Top of page

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