Investment consultant fined $332,000
Mark Duffell, a former consultant for the Menlo Park-based private investment firm Accel-KKR LLC, agreed to penalties of $332,000 in connection with charges of insider trading, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In March 2009, while representing Accel-KKR, Mr. Duffell bought 65,000 shares of the Silicon Valley software company SumTotal Systems after participating a few days earlier in discussions with SumTotal about Accel-KKR's acquisition of the company, the SEC said.
In April 2009, after a public announcement about the signing of a preliminary merger agreement between the two companies, the value of Mr. Duffell's shares jumped 188 percent and yielded him a profit of $162,500, the SEC said.
"By profiting from his knowledge of the very acquisition he was discussing, Mr. Duffell violated the duty of trust he owed his private investment firm client and ran afoul of the federal securities laws," said Marc J. Fagel, director of the SEC's San Francisco regional office, in a March 24 announcement.
While not admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Mr. Duffell agreed to pay $332,163 in penalties, including $162,500 in illegal profits, $7,163 in interest, and a civil penalty of $162,500, the SEC said.
Mr. Duffell is a graduate with honors from Kingston University in London and has held several executive positions at Epicor Software Corp. in Irvine, and at Frame Technology, according to a profile by Bloomberg Businessweek.