Founder and Former Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. CEO, Robert Carr, and his girlfriend, Katherine Hanratty, have been accused of participating in insider trading ahead of the USD 4.3 Billion takeover by Global Payments Inc. by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Carr has been accused of telling Hanratty that Global Payments offered to buy Heartland for a premium, giving her a USD 1 Million check, and to open a brokerage account and buy USD 900,000 worth of Heartland Payments shares before the merger became public information.
Global Payments offered to buy Heartland for USD 100 per share, a 17.5% premium, on December 2015. Henratty did what was told of her, and one year later, sold the shares on April 2016, four months after the announcement of the merger, receiving a total of USD 250,628 in profit, the SEC said in a complaint filed with the New Haven, Connecticut federal court.
The SEC is seeking to reacquire the illegally obtained gains, prejudgement interest, penalties, and injunctive relief. They are also attempting to prohibit Carr from serving as an officer or director of any company that reports to the SEC.
Carr and Hanratty could not be reached for comments.