(Reuters) – A former accountant at a New Jersey drug company was among four people charged with insider trading on Thursday, after he tipped a close friend that the company would soon be acquired by saying he had a “little bird” that would make its stock “pop.”
Evan Kita, 27, of Yardley, Pennsylvania, a former accountant at Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy counts, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Two other defendants also entered guilty pleas.
Kita was accused of passing tips in the first half of 2016 about clinical trials for his Ewing Township-based company’s leukemia drug, and about Celator’s plans to be acquired, ultimately by Dublin-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc (JAZZ.O).
Prosecutors said Kita tipped his friends Daniel Perez, 28, and Richard Yu, 27, and that Richard Yu tipped his father, Chiang Yu, 55.