Gilat Exec Settles Insider Trading Charges with SEC

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PARIS — A co-founder of satellite ground segment provider Gilat Satellite Networks of Israel has settled insider trading charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), agreeing to pay more than $383,000 in fines and reimbursement of profit without admitting or denying the allegations, the SEC announced Feb. 3.

Joshua Levinberg, who remains on Gilat’s management committee as a company vice president, confirmed the settlement in a Feb. 3 e-mail and said the dispute involved his own personal actions and did not involve PetahTikva-based Gilat.

The SEC did not allege illicit trading in Gilat stock. Instead, the SEC said Levinberg purchased 102,172 shares of Scopus Video Networks Ltd. of Israel in late 2008, a time when Scopus, which like Gilat was traded on the U.S. Nasdaq stock exchange, was looking for a buyer.

The SEC said Scopus had approached Gilat to determine whether Gilat would be interested in the purchase. Levinberg, according to the SEC, was privy to “material, non-public information” about Scopus as part of negotiations between the two companies.

The SEC said Levinberg subsequently purchased shares in Scopus shortly before Scopus’ December 2008 announcement that it would be purchased by Harmonic Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., for $50 million.

Scopus shares jumped 41 percent on the acquisition announcement, and Levinberg netted nearly $188,000 in profit.