May 12, 2014, 11:56 AM

A former eBay Enterprise president pleads guilty to insider trading

Christopher Saridakis faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Sept. 19. Saridakis tipped friends and family to buy GSI Commerce stock before eBay bought the company in 2011.

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Christopher Saridakis

Former eBay Enterprise president Christopher Saridakis pled guilty Friday to one count of insider trading in a federal court in Philadelphia.

Saridakis, who was released on a $300,000 bail, faces up to 20 years in prison for tipping friends and family to buy GSI Commerce stock before eBay Inc. bought the company . A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19.

EBay bought GSI Commerce in 2011 for approximately $2.4 billion, renaming it eBay Enterprise last year. Saridakis, who led GSI’s marketing services division prior to the purchase, was appointed president of the GSI Commerce division. Saridakis resigned from eBay Enterprise in January citing “personal reasons.”

Saridakis tipped off friends and family to buy GSI Commerce stock before the company was purchased by eBay in 2011, which led to $300,000 in illegal profits, investigators say. On the day eBay announced the acquisition, GSI’s stock rose 50%. Saridakis was charged with insider trading last month. 

Saridakis agreed to pay $644,822 to settle a civil complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As part of the settlement, Saridakis cannot serve as an officer or director of a public company. Six other defendants settled with the SEC in cases related to the illegal trading. The payments total more than $490,000.

GSI Commerce was based in Pennsylvania and provided technology and services to e-retailers, including several in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide.

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