The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP with insider trading.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Gregory B. Raben, 30, a former PwC auditor, and William Patrick Borchard, 28, a former senior associate in PwC’s Transaction Services Group, used their access to sensitive information about PwC’s clients to allow Raben to buy stock ahead of a series of corporate takeovers. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Raben and Borchard agreed to a settlement including monetary penalties.

The commission’s complaint, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, alleges that Borchard learned about the potential acquisition plans of PwC clients through his position in the Transaction Services Group, where he handled financial due diligence for clients interested in mergers or acquisitions.

On six occasions in 2006, Borchard told his friend and co-worker Raben about these confidential plans. Raben then used the information to trade before the news was released to the investing public. The pair’s scheme continued until October 2006, when it was uncovered by PwC’s Office of General Counsel, which referred the matter to the SEC and cooperated with the SEC staff’s investigation.

According to the SEC complaint, Raben netted unlawful trading profits of more than $20,000 by buying stock ahead of public announcements disclosing the acquisitions and then selling his shares. Raben also tipped off two other acquaintances about two of the acquisitions, allowing them to make several thousand dollars in unlawful trading profits.

Raben has agreed to a permanent injunction from further violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. He will disgorge his trading profits and those of the two acquaintances he tipped, altogether totaling $23,879.22, and will pay a civil penalty of $23,879.22.

Borchard, a licensed CPA, has consented to a permanent injunction and a civil penalty of $20,835.57 (equal to Raben’s trading profits), as well as an order denying him the privilege of appearing or practicing before the SEC as an accountant, with the right to apply to resume appearing or practicing before the SEC after three years.

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