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The Nvidia staffers accused of insider trading have been suspended by the company pending the legal action being brought against them by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Eleven Nvidia employees and four associates were formally charged on Monday with profiting from their inside knowledge. Having seen a memo from company chief Jen-Hsun Huang headed 'X - it's ours', the 15, it is alleged, used that information to make a killing on the stock market.

Two of the 15 have admitted that they did indeed use inside knowledge to their advantage. The others are contesting the accusations made against them. Four of the group face criminal charges, the others civil prosections from the SEC.

"Since becoming a public company, we have adopted a comprehensive Insider Trading Policy and have an active and ongoing program to educate our employees about their duties under these laws and under our Policy," said Huang, Nvidia's president and CEO. "We will not tolerate any violation of insider trading laws or of our own policies in this area.''

Nvidia is no stranger - indirectly, at least - to insider trading action centring on its Xbox contract. This time last year, ex-Nvidia staffer Manu Shrivastava admitted to profiting from inside knowledge of Microsoft's plan to hand the Xbox graphics development contract to Nvidia.

Shrivastava paid $30,825 for Nvidia stock options, acquired after he found out about the Microsoft deal from internal emails but before the alliance had been announced publicly. When the Xbox deal was announced, the options became worth $446,000. ®

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