A former executive at CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent company of fast food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, was charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Regulators have accused Noah J. Griggs Jr. with buying 50,000 shares of CKE stock not long after a confidential company meeting in November 2009 where he learned about possible acquisition plans.
After Griggs, then CKE’s executive vice president of training and leadership development, heard that CKE planned to merge with Thomas H. Lee Partners, prosecutors claim that he bought one installment of shares within the week and then another group in January 2010.
When the merger was publicly announced Feb. 26, 2010, CKE’s stock price soared more than 27% to $11.37 from the previous day’s close of $8.91. Prosecutors allege that Griggs made as much as $145,430. (CKE later spurned Thomas H. Lee, agreeing instead to a buyout from Apollo Management.)
To settle the charges, which were filed in U.S. District Court in California, Griggs will pay $268,000 without admitting or denying the allegations. He will also be barred for 10 years from serving as an officer of a public company.