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Florida man to pay over $278K for insider trading connected to Apple's AuthenTec takeover

A former AuthenTec worker has reached a $278,773 settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, resolving insider trading charges following Apple's buyout of his employer.




John Stimpson, a senior network administrator, bought AuthenTec call options after learning private information about a merger in early July 2012, the SEC said according to Forbes. He allegedly heard about a special AuthenTec board meeting, as well as abnormal activity in the company's human resources department.

The options were sold less than three months after Apple acquired AuthenTec for $356 million, allowing Stimpson to take advantage of a spike in the latter company's stock price.

The settlement includes $135,570 in surrendered trading profit, $7,633 in interest, and a $135,570 civil fine. Stimpson will not, however, have to admit any wrongdoing.

Apple used AuthenTec's technology as the basis for Touch ID, the fingerprint recognition system found on some MacBook Pros, every iPhone since the 5s, and every iPad since the Air 2. The technology lets users quickly unlock a device, authenticate with apps, and make Apple Pay transactions.

It's uncertain though if this year's "iPhone 8" will include Touch ID. While it could be embedded in the phone's OLED screen, some reports have differed on its location, and it's even possible that Apple will replace Touch ID with the phone's 3D facial recognition.