The Chinese MIT researcher who 'stole' inside info on Sibanye and Steinhoff from his Linklaters wife is going to (US) jail for 15 months

Business Insider SA
  • Fei Yan was sentenced to 15 months in prison for insider trading after learning about big deals coming up from Sibanye Gold and Steinhoff International.
  • He also forfeited $119,429 in proceeds, the equivalent of around R1.4 million.
  • Yan’s wife worked on the corporate deals at Linklaters in London. He said he misappropriated the information without her knowledge.

The Chinese national research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who last year pleaded guilty to insider trading on a South African deal will go to jail for 15 months, Reuters reported on Friday.

Fei Yan's legal team had argued that jail time would serve no purpose. But a US district court sentenced him to incarceration on top of forfeiting $119,429, or a little over R1.4 million, from the proceeds of his crime.

Yan made most of the money buy buying options on American company Stillwater Mining shares just weeks before Sibanye Gold announced a massive takeover bid. A much smaller portion came from trading in Mattress Firm before it became public that Steinhoff International planned to buy it.

He pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading in October.

Yan obtained the information on the deals via the involvement of his wife, at the time an associate at the high-end law firm Linklaters. Yan insisted that she knew nothing of his dealings and implied he had stolen the information from her.

They had been married for less than a year at the time.

Yan set up a trading account in his mother's name after doing Google searches on how to get away with insider trading.

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