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SEC charges former GSI Commerce exec Chris Saridakis with insider trading

Saridakis became president of GSI Commerce, which turned into eBay Enterprise after the acquisition. He left the company in January, according to Retailing Today, just one month after the New York Times featured the company prominently in a story about how eBay is taking on Amazon.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged former eBay Enterprise president Chris Saridakis with insider trading, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Saridakis, a GSI Commerce executive at the time, tipped off two friends and two relatives to eBay’s 2011 acquisition of the King of Prussia-based GSI Commerce and encouraged them trade on the information, according to the WSJ report. After the acquisition was publicly announced, GSI’s stock price increased more than 50 percent, “leading to thousands of dollars in illegal profits for the traders,” the WSJ quoted the SEC as saying. The sale was the biggest tech business acquisition in the Philadelphia region in the last 15 years.

Saridakis became president of GSI Commerce, which turned into eBay Enterprise after the acquisition. He left the company in January, according to Retailing Today, just one month after the New York Times featured the company prominently in a story about how eBay is taking on Amazon.

Saridakis, who previously ran King of Prussia media technology company PointRoll after it was acquired by Gannett in 2005, has to pay $664,822 and agree not to serve as an officer or director of a public company for an unspecified time.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Pennsylvania is pursuing criminal charges against Saridakis, the WSJ reported.

Meanwhile, questions remain at eBay Enterprise, according to one employee who asked to remain anonymous. Another executive, Mark Trout, head of Technology Services and Operations, left “suddenly” and without explanation earlier this month, the staffer said. eBay Enterprise confirmed Trout’s departure. Tobias Hartmann, VP of omnichannel operations and international, is serving as the company’s acting president.

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eBay Enterprise spokeswoman Kelly Henry would not say how many employees the company has, though it employed nearly 5,000 in 2011.

Companies: eBay Enterprise, SEC
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