NEW YORK – The Securities and Exchange Commission (search) said Friday it froze the accounts of a Croatian woman who netted $2 million in well-timed trades of Reebok International Ltd. (RBK) — trades that the SEC believes could have been made on inside information.
The SEC obtained an temporary restraining order against Sonja Anticevic after she allegedly tried to move the money out of her brokerage account and into an overseas account, said David Rosenfeld, associate regional director in the SEC's New York office.
"Our complaint alleges that these trades were highly suspicious, and alleges insider trading," Rosenfeld said. "This allows us to do an expedited investigation while those funds are frozen."
Rosenfeld said Anticevic allegedly purchased $130,000 worth of call contracts — options to purchase Reebok stock at a set price. When Reebok's stock rose after its $3.8 billion acquisition by Adidas-Salomon A (search)G was announced Wednesday, Anticevic exercised the option, buying Reebok shares at the lower price, then reselling them at the higher market price for a profit of $2 million, Rosenfeld said.
The SEC does not know what Anticevic's connection is to Reebok or Adidas, if any, or even whether the trades were made with insider information. The timing, however, was enough for U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood (search) to freeze the assets while the SEC investigates further.
Reebok shares closed Tuesday at $43.95. The next day, they jumped 30 percent to close at $57.14.
Anticevic's whereabouts were not immediately known Friday. The SEC does not know whether she has a U.S.-based attorney, Rosenfeld said.