Securities and Exchange Commission v. Matthew Panuwat

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s):Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Counsel for Plaintiff: Susan F. LaMarca | Andrew Jacob Hefty | Jason Matthew Bussey | Marc David Katz | Matthew Gary Meyerhofer | Bernard B. Smyth | David Zhou | Tracy Schloss Combs


  • Defendant(s): Matthew Panuwat
  • Counsel for Defendants: Anthony Pacheco| James Winston Spertus | Kirsi Elizabeth Luther | Maura L. Riley | Payton Lyon | Jack Patrick DiCanio | Andrew Woo | Ashley L. Phillips | Caroline W Van Ness | Christina M. Krokee | Josh Samuel Brown | Brooke E. Conner | Michael Joseph Quinn

Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: April 5, 2024
  • Verdict: In Favour of Plaintiff

About the Case


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an insider trading complaint against Matthew Panuwat. Matthew Panuwat previously worked as a business development executive at Medivation Inc., a mid-sized biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology treatments. On August 18, 2016, while employed at Medivation, Panuwat received confidential non-public information via email from the company’s CEO. The email revealed that Medivation was imminently going to be acquired by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. at a price significantly higher than Medivation’s current stock value.

As an employee and agent of Medivation, Panuwat owed the company a duty of trust and confidentiality, including an obligation to not use Medivation’s proprietary information for his own personal financial benefit. However, the SEC alleges that within mere minutes of getting this confidential acquisition news from the CEO, Panuwat misappropriated and traded on the material non-public information by purchasing out-of-the-money, short-dated call option contracts in Incyte Corporation’s stock from his work computer.

Incyte was another mid-cap biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology treatments. Panuwat anticipated that Incyte’s stock price would materially increase once Medivation’s acquisition by Pfizer was publicly announced. This was because the two companies were considered peers in the same industry sector. Panuwat did not inform anyone at Medivation about his options trades in Incyte’s stock.

Four days later, on August 22, 2016, when Medivation publicly revealed its acquisition agreement with Pfizer at the premium price of $81.50 per share, Medivation’s stock jumped around 20% on the news. Incyte’s stock also rose by approximately 8% that same day. The increase in Incyte’s share price directly benefited the call options Panuwat had purchased days earlier while in possession of the confidential Medivation acquisition information. In total, Panuwat generated $107,066 in allegedly illegal insider trading profits from his timely Incyte options trades ahead of the news.


The SEC alleged that Panuwat’s insider trading violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. According to the SEC, Panuwat’s scheme to trade Incyte options immediately after learning the confidential Medivation acquisition news constituted a deceptive device and fraudulent scheme. By failing to disclose his material, non-public knowledge of the impending acquisition to Medivation or the public, Panuwat made an omission. This omission rendered his securities trading inherently misleading.

Furthermore, his entire course of conduct – misappropriating corporate secrets, purchasing options based on inside information, and remaining silent amounted to a deceitful act of fraud upon the markets and his employer.


The SEC sought stringent penalties against Panuwat for his insider trading violations. It requested that the Court permanently enjoin or prohibit him from directly or indirectly violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws in the future. The SEC also demanded that Panuwat pay a substantial civil monetary penalty under the insider trading penalty provisions to punish his misconduct. Furthermore, the SEC aimed to bar Panuwat from serving as an officer or director of any public company that has securities registered with the SEC or is required to make periodic filings.

Jury Verdict

The jury found that the SEC established by a preponderance of the evidence that Panuwat engaged in illegal insider trading through the misappropriation of confidential information from his employer Medivation Inc. in violation of securities laws.

Court Documents: Available upon Request

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