Insider trading charges tied to Herbalife short

The SEC accuses two men of insider trading ahead of Pershing Square Bill Ackman's announcement that his fund had taken a short position on Herbalife.

The SEC said Filip Szymik of New York learned from his roommate, who was a Pershing analyst, of William Ackman's planned announcement on Dec. 20, 2012, that he was shorting Herbalife stock because of his claim that its operations amounted to a pyramid scheme.

Szymik, 28, then allegedly told Jordan Peixoto of the news. Peixoto, 30, of Toronto, in turn allegedly made $47,100 off of Herbalife put options, the agency said.

Read More Opinion: It's time to legalize insider trading

"Szymik and Peixoto chose to engage in illicit tipping and trading in advance of the announcement of market-moving information and today they are being held accountable for those offenses," Sanjay Wadhwa, senior associate director of the SEC's New York Regional Office, said in a statement.

The SEC said it settled with Szymik, ordering him to cease and desist from further violations and pay a $47,100 civil penalty.

"Mr. Szymik did not trade a single share of Herbalife or make a penny from his friend's trade," defense attorney Paul W. Ryan said in an email. "With this settlement, he hopes to put this behind him."

Read More Ackman's potential loss during Herbalife presentation

The former Pershing analyst who leaked the news left the firm in September 2013, according to the SEC order against Szymik.

Pershing declined to comment on the news.

Have something to tell us about this article?

JefferiesAnd the Best Place to Work in the global financial markets 2018 is...