Sandeep Aggarwal is the founder of ShopClues.com, based in Gurgaon.
By American Bazaar Staff
NEW YORK: The unsavory insider trading charges and indictment of Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta has hardly died down, when another high profile case of passing on information illegally has surfaced, this time involving an entrepreneur of an online shopping website based in Gurgaon, India.
Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of ShopClues.com, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in California, for allegedly giving inside information about a partnership between Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. to a trader at the renowned hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors LP.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Aggarwal allegedly provided confidential information about a partnership between the two tech giants in advance of a July 2009 public announcement. The Securities & Exchange Commission says that the trader used this information to buy large amounts of Yahoo stock for SAC and his personal account. Aggarwal also was charged with insider trading in a civil suit by the SEC.
A Microsoft spokeswoman told the Journal that the company assisted the government in its investigation and has â€œzero-toleranceâ€ policies to prevent insider trading. She said an employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
Aggarwal, who was released on bail after a hearing in San Francisco federal court, is due to appear in federal court in Manhattan on Friday.
ShopClues said in a statement released today that the charges in the complaint were merely accusations. â€œThe defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,â€ the statement said.
â€œSandeep Aggarwal is fully cooperating with the investigating agencies and has complete faith in the U.S. judicial system. The entire staff and management of ShopClues is behind Sandeep at this juncture,â€ it added. â€œThe case relates to events that occurred prior to ShopClues inception, and therefore does not involve the business of ShopClues.â€
Aggarwal, who has a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Commerce from Kurukshetra University in Haryana, and a Masters of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, founded ShopClues.com in 2011. It has around 350 employees in India, and sells a variety of products, including electronics, clothes, books, footwear and toys.
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