Canyon Bridge Founder Chow Charged With Insider Trading

Oct 31 2017 | 11:25pm ET

U.S. authorities have charged the founder of a private equity firm backed by a Chinese state-run fund with insider trading related to the attempted acquisition last year of Lattice Semiconductor.

Benjamin Chow, who founded Canyon Bridge Capital Partners last year, was indicted Monday in Manhattan federal court on conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Chow denies the allegations, according to a Reuters article citing his attorney. 

Canyon Bridge Capital Partners was founded in 2016 with backing from China Reform Holdings, a Chinese state-backed investment fund with ties to the upper levels of China’s government. The company’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Lattice was blocked by President Donald Trump in September over national security concerns following a recommendation by the U.S. Treasury’s CFIUS unit against the deal.  

The DOJ statement alleges Chow used in-person meetings, voice messages, and text exchanges to provide a friend and business associate with “material nonpublic information” relating to the potential Lattice merger. The information allegedly allowed the friend to make $5 million in profitable securities trades. 

Chow is a U.S. citizen born in China and residing in Los Angeles, the DOJ said. Canyon Bridge, which is currently in the midst of closing its £550 million acquisition of U.K.-based chipmaker Imagination Technologies Group, is not itself under investigation. 

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