A group that monitors anti-corruption is asking the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to investigate biotech company Moderna for stock market manipulation and insider trading.
In a letter dated June 1 and released Wednesday, the group Accountable.US said the trades, which centered around an announcement about promising vaccine trial results, are suspicious and urged the SEC to investigate.
Moderna is among a handful of companies developing a coronavirus vaccine for the United States. In May, the company announced encouraging results from its initial trials.
"This misconduct was particularly egregious because it involved not only financial fraud and manipulation of the financial markets, but also because it exploited widespread fears surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. wrote in a statement.
Following the results, Moderna's stock price shot up by 30% to $87, an all-time high. Overall, it was an increase of 344% since January.
But Moderna's stock price fell following a report from STAT News the company's positive trial results were challenged by experts.
While Moderna's stock price climbed after the announcements of promising results, the executives hauled in millions in profits after exercising options and making money from shares.
Herrig suggested in the letter, Moderna executives might have engineered the sales of shares before the release of the trial results.
"If the executives knew about the results of Moderna's test trials and public announcements relating to the trials, and set trades exploiting their foreknowledge . . . they profited by violating the federal securities laws," Herrig wrote.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.