1 of 3 defendants pleads guilty in Medtronic insider trading conspiracy

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One of three men charged with insider trading involving a Medtronic acquisition pleaded guilty Thursday under a deal with prosecutors.

Afshin “Alex” Farahan of California faces 24-30 months in prison for conspiring to engage in insider trading, if the judge follows sentencing guidelines.

During a plea hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, Farahan admitted he was visiting his friend, Doron “Ron” Tavlin, in Minneapolis in 2018 when Tavlin gave him information about Medtronic’s potential acquisition of Mazor Robotics.

In the month that followed, Farahan bought over $1 million in Mazor stock; after the Mazor sale was announced, he sold the stock at a $247,500 profit.

Also charged are Tavlin, who was a Mazor executive, and David Gantman, a mutual friend of the two who lives in Mendota Heights.

Prosecutors allege Gantman made $255,600 on Mazor stock and that Tavlin received kickbacks for sharing non-public information about the pending sale.

Tavlin has pleaded not guilty. Gantman has not yet entered a plea.

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