Ex-Perot employee returning $8.6M

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A former employee of a Perot Systems Corp. affiliate who had been charged with insider trading has agreed to return about $8.6 million in illicit profits, federal regulators said Tuesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement with Reza Saleh to partly resolve allegations of insider trading in connection with Dell Inc.’s $3.9 billion offer last September to buy Perot Systems, the technology services company founded by former presidential candidate Ross Perot Sr. That acquisition, part of Dell’s bid to expand beyond the personal computer business, was completed in November.

Saleh neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing under the settlement but did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws and not to work for any investment adviser firm. The SEC said it also plans to ask the federal court in Dallas, which must approve the settlement, to impose a civil fine against Saleh and to appoint a third party to work out a distribution plan for the $8.6 million that Saleh has agreed to return to Perot’s shareholders.

Saleh’s attorney didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Saleh worked for Parkcentral Capital Management, Ross Perot’s Texas-based investment firm, and for Perot Investments, which managed Ross’ personal financial affairs, and sometimes attended Perot Systems planning meetings, according to the SEC’s civil lawsuit filed in September.

The agency alleged that Saleh learned nonpublic information about the Dell offer on Sept. 4 through his work. It said Saleh made “extremely large” purchases of call options for Perot Systems stock between Sept. 4 and Sept. 18, and then sold all of the 9,332 call options on Monday after Perot Systems’ stock soared on the official merger announcement. As a result, Saleh reaped an $8.6 million profit, the SEC said.