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A federal jury, on July 10, convicted Songjiang Wang, 54, of Westford, of engaging in an insider trading scheme.
According to a notice issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, Wang traded inside information regarding successful clinical drug trials with his friend Schultz “Jason” Chan of Newton, from August 2013 to September 2015. Wang was the director of statistical programming at Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Chan was the director of biostatistics at Akebia Therapeutics, also in Cambridge. In this two-year window, Wang used inside information provided to him by Chan regarding a clinical study Akebia conducted. Additionally, over the course of several months, Wang notified Chan of clinical trial results from a Phase 3 trial being conducted by Merrimack. Wang also gave Chan cash, which Chan used to purchase stock shares of Wang’s employer. Chan sold the shares in order to repay Wang.
Wang was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud, while Chan was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and three counts of security fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled Chan’s and Wang’s sentencings for Oct. 4 and 5.
Wang’s attorney, Elliot M. Weinstein of Boston said he will file an appeal.
“It’s an unfortunate jury verdict,” Weinstein said.
Chan’s attorney, Peter Charles Horstmann of Newton, could not be reached for comment.
The charge of securities fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years, along with three years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, however, is punished by no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
This story will be updated.