Two Florida Men Arrested and Charged in Insider Trading Scheme

Defendants allegedly used material nonpublic information for stock trading that generated at least $4 million in profits

BOSTON – Two Florida men were arrested today in connection with their roles in an alleged insider trading scheme that generated at least $4 million in profits.

Kris Bortnovsky, a/k/a “Kris Bort,” 40, of Surfside, Fla., and Ryan Shapiro, 44, of Bay Harbor Island, Fla., were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The defendants will make an initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of Florida later today. They will appear in Boston at a later date.

As alleged in the charging document, from at least August 2017 to November 2021, Bortnovsky, a financial services professional for more than 20 years, and Shapiro, an entrepreneur and founder of two privately held companies, conspired to trade in the stocks of certain publicly traded companies, including At Home Group, Inc., Aphria, Inc., DSW, Inc., and Rite Aid Corp., among others, based on material nonpublic information (MNPI) regarding the earnings results and merger-and-acquisition activity of those companies. In many instances,

Bortnovsky and Shapiro allegedly obtained the information from a co-conspirator who was a relative of one or more officers or directors of these companies, or of companies involved in proposed acquisitions of the companies. In other instances, Bortnovsky shared MNPI that he had obtained with Shapiro and their co-conspirator. 

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal/Cyber Division, Washington Field Office, made the announcement today. The Securities & Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, provided valuable assistance in this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen E. Frank and Seth B. Kosto – Chief and Deputy Chief, respectively, of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit – are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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