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Former Nvidia engineer nabbed for insider trading

Made a killing on advance knowledge of X-box deal, allegedly

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Ex-Nvidia staffer Manu Shrivastava has been accused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of profiting illegally from his inside knowledge of the 3D chip company's business.

If found guilty of insider trading, Shrivastava could face not only the loss of all profits made by trading in Nvidia stock using his 'specialist' knowledge, but interest on the money and up to three times the amount of his gains in fines.

The SEC's action was carried out with the participation of the District Attorney for Northern California. The DA's office will also be proffering criminal charges that could lead to fines of $500,000 and up to 15 year in chokey.

The case against Shrivastava centres on allegations that he acquired 100 short-term Nvidia call option contracts after learning that Nvidia had been granted the graphics contract for Microsoft's upcoming X-box games console.

Shrivastava paid $30,825 for the options, says the SEC. When the X-box deal was announced, the options became worth $446,000, an increase of well over one thousand per cent, certainly a very fortuitous investment.

A little too fortuitous, reckons the SEC, though proving it will be difficult if Shrivastava refuses to fess up. As yet neither the man himself nor his lawyer have commented on the SEC accusations. That said, the DA's investigation may well have revealed a clear connection between Shrivastava and the X-box contract. ®

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