Wyoming Fund CIO Guilty of Insider Trading

March 29, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The chief investment officer (CIO) for the Wyoming Retirement System (WRS), has been placed on administrative review after pleading guilty to insider trading.

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the unsealing of the guilty plea of John Johnson to conspiracy and securities fraud charges in connection with an insider trading scheme. Johnson pled guilty to these charges March 18. 

Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against Johnson and two other individuals in the insider trading scheme. The SEC case stems from activities in 2008 , which occurred prior to Johnson’s tenure at WRS. Johnson and two other men, Matthew Teeple and David Riley, were charged with insider trading relating to the acquisition of Foundry Networks by Brocade Communications. Teeple, a hedge fund analyst, allegedly received insider information from Riley, Foundry Networks’ chief information officer. Teeple is said to have passed this information on to Johnson, who then made illegal trades of Foundry stock.

In a statement, the WRS noted that the charges were unrelated to Johnson’s work at the fund and the activities happened two years prior to his employment there. “WRS’ investment results are a team effort and are not derived from any one individual,” said Thomas Williams, executive director of WRS. “We regret that this has happened with John but wish to assure our stakeholders that WRS’ assets are unaffected.”

Johnson was hired by WRS in 2010 as a senior investment officer, appointed as interim chief investment officer in 2011, and later became CIO.