By Nate Raymond
(Reuters) - A former JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N> investment banking analyst has been largely cleared of U.S. charges that he disclosed information about upcoming mergers that allowed a friend and another man to make over $600,000 through insider trading.
Ashish Aggarwal, who previously worked at J.P. Morgan Securities LLC in its San Francisco office, was found not guilty by a federal jury in Los Angeles on Tuesday of 26 of 30 counts he faced, prosecutors said.
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The jury, following three days of deliberations, was hung on four remaining counts of insider trading and tender offer fraud, prosecutors said.
"We are very pleased that the jury took the time to carefully evaluate the evidence and agreed with us that Mr. Aggrawal was not guilty," his lawyers, Derek Cohen and Grant Fondo, said in a joint statement.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, said prosecutors "will review the case to determine if we want to proceed on the unresolved counts."
Aggarwal, 28, was charged in August 2015 in connection with what prosecutors said were tips he provided a college friend, Shahriyar Bolandian, who they said in turn tipped his childhood friend, Kevan Sadigh.
Prosecutors said Aggarwal tipped Bolandian to inside information before the announcements of Integrated Device Technology Inc's 2012 acquisition of PLX Technology Inc and Salesforce.com Inc's 2013 acquisition of ExactTarget Inc.
Bolandian in turn told Sadigh in both cases, enabling them to trade ahead of the deals and make more than $600,000, prosecutors said. Both have pleaded not guilty and have yet to face trial.
Aggarwal denied wrongdoing. His lawyers at trial said the prosecution's case was circumstantial and lacked evidence that Aggarwal knew about the trades before they happened, tipped his co-defendants or received anything in exchange.
The case is U.S. v. Aggarwal et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 15-cr-465.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)