BOSTON–Amit Kanodia, 49, an Indian-American businessman of Brookline, MA, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton today to 20 months in prison, two years of supervised release including 100 hours of community service, a fine of $200,000 and forfeiture of $242,500, according to an official statement.
Kanodia was also ordered to forfeit $242,500, which represented his portion of the illegal trading profits. In October 2016, Kanodia was convicted by a federal jury, following a six-day trial, of one count of conspiracy and 10 counts of securities fraud.
In the spring of 2013, Kanodia tipped off his two friends, Iftikar Ahmed and Steven Watson, about the contemplated acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (“Cooper Tire”) by India-based Apollo Tyres (“Apollo”). Kanodia learned about the possible acquisition from his wife who was General Counsel for Apollo at the time. In the months leading up to the public announcement of the acquisition, both Ahmed and Watson purchased shares and options in Cooper Tire, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. On the day of the announcement, Cooper Tire’s share price increased 41%, and Ahmed and Watson began selling their interests in the company for a combined profit of more than $1 million. In connection with their agreement, both Ahmed and Watson paid Kanodia a portion of their illegal profits.
In November 2016, Watson was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $25,000. He was also ordered to forfeit the almost $170,000 in illegal trading profits that he made on the scheme. Ahmed is a fugitive.
Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office received valuable assistance from the Securities & Exchange Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Walters and Brian Perez-Daple, of Weinreb’s Economic Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.