(Adds comment from Justice Department and lawyer for defendant, sentencing date; in paragraphs 6, 9-11)
By Jonathan Stempel
July 21 (Reuters) - A former president of Qualcomm Inc’s global business operations pleaded guilty on Monday to insider trading in shares of the mobile phone chipmaker and a company it bought in 2011, as well as to a related money laundering charge.
Jing Wang, 51, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge William Hayes in San Diego over trades that resulted in about $250,000 of illegal gains, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Prosecutors said Wang used nonpublic information to trade in Qualcomm shares in 2010 before a surprise dividend increase and stock repurchase, and in 2011 before record results were announced.
They said he also traded illegally in Atheros Communications Inc shares in 2010 hours after learning that Qualcomm had made a nonpublic offer to buy that company.
Wang also pleaded guilty to laundering proceeds through a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands, in an effort to disguise ownership and avoid taxes, prosecutors said.
“Jing Wang blatantly and repeatedly abused the trust placed in him by Qualcomm and the company’s shareholders,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement.
Wang had been indicted in September along with his brother Bing Wang and broker Gary Yin, who worked at Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch unit.
Yin pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to help the brothers obstruct justice and launder money. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15. An arrest warrant is outstanding for Bing Wang, who is believed to live in China.
Thomas McNamara, a lawyer for Jing Wang, said his client “accepts full responsibility” for his actions.
“He wants to express his sincere remorse to the community and, in particular, he apologizes to his many friends at Qualcomm,” McNamara added.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17, another lawyer for Jing Wang said.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in September filed related civil charges against Jing Wang and Yin. San Diego-based Qualcomm was not charged.
The case is U.S. v. Wang et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, No. 13-cr-03487. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown and Mohammad Zargham)