Insider trading: the former CEO of Orpea under investigation

Posted 14 Feb. 2022 at 19:42Updated Feb 14. 2022 at 19:48

Did the former CEO of Orpea, sacked at the end of January, commit insider trading or not? The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) has decided to open a preliminary investigation to settle this point, AFP said Monday evening.

At the end of July 2021, Yves Le Masne sold some 7,500 Orpea titles. This earned him more than 800,000 euros. Selling or buying shares based on information that is not yet public is illegal. However, according to the “Canard enchaîné”, this sale took place “only three weeks after the management of Orpea [a] been informed of the forthcoming publication of the book “by Victor Castanet, “Les Fossoyeurs”, which denounces ill-treatment in the group’s nursing homes.

Denies any accusation

In a press release sent to AFP on February 4 by his lawyer, Yves Le Masne “strongly refuted any accusation of insider trading”. He assured that the sale of “about a third of (his) shares” had nothing to do with Victor Castanet’s book, which did not create any particular concern for us “. He specifies that he had “no reason” to sell more shares, “having full confidence in the future of the company”.

“Mid-summer is when I usually sell stocks, as shown in my earlier statements,” he said, adding, “I’ve always made my stock sales in authorized periods and makes all regulatory declarations to the competent authorities”.

In this case, there is no doubt that the PNF and the stock market policeman will have to coordinate. In the event that insider trading is characterized by the PNF, Yves Le Masne would risk a lot. In all cases, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is 100 million euros or 10 times the amount of the benefit derived from the offense or the loss avoided, and/or five years in prison.

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