The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a settlement on Thursday from a suit filed earlier this month. The initial complaint, filed April 13 in the Eastern District of Michigan, alleged that the Michigan-based accountant Bernard L. Compton illegally used trading information from his employer, Domino’s Pizza, to profit almost $1 million.
The complaint asserted that Bernard L. Compton “used confidential financial data he obtained through his role as an accountant at the corporate office of Domino’s to trade ahead of 12 of the company’s earnings announcements between 2015 and 2020.”
By spreading the trades across seven separate brokerage accounts that belonged to members of his family, Compton was allegedly able to conceal the illicit activity and gain profits of more than $960,000.
The Chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit, Joseph G. Sansone, explained that the initial investigation “uncovered that Compton allegedly accessed and reviewed Domino’s confidential data to prepare financial performance reports for senior management.” Sansone elaborated, saying that by “using innovative analytical tools, SEC staff exposed the defendant’s repeated misuse of this inside information and are now holding him accountable.”
The SEC complaint alleged that Compton violated certain antifraud provisions of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Compton agreed to the terms of the settlement without admitting or denying the allegations that the SEC brought against him. Specifically, Compton will be enjoined from further violating these provisions, will be required to pay a $1,921,394 penalty, and will no longer be eligible to practice before the SEC as an accountant.