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Utahn who raised funds for Romney named in insider trading case

Published August 17, 2012 9:39 pm

Lawsuit • David Parker allegedly used information from ex-pro baseball player.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah businessman who is a former top fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been sued by federal regulators on allegations of illegal insider trading, along with two former professional baseball players.

David L. Parker, 60, Sundance, was named Friday in a civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Parker was co-chairman of the National Finance Committee of Romney for President Inc. from February 2007 to February 2008 during Romney's previous run for the GOP nomination, according to Parker's Linkedin profile.

Parker is CEO of a multilevel marketer of nutritional products called Nuriche LLC of Draper and managing partner of SRS Capital Partners of Irvine, Calif., among several business positions he holds.

According to the SEC complaint filed in California, Parker was part of a group that illegally traded shares on insider information. Others were baseball Hall of Fame member Eddie Murray, former teammate Doug DeCinces and James Mazzo, the former CEO and chairman of Advanced Medical Optics and today a senior vice president at Abbott Medical Optics.

Mazzo allegedly provided illegal tips about a planned acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics by Abbott Laboratories in January 2009, according to the complaint filed in federal court in California.

Mazzo provided information to DeCinces, who passed it along to Murray and Parker, the complaint says.

Parker and DeCinces are friends and business partners, and DeCinces and Mazzo were friends. In 2007, Parker invited DeCinces to a political fundraiser, and DeCinces brought Mazzo. The complaint does not say who the fundraiser was for, but it says Parker and Mazzo met at the event.

DeCinces later heard of the deal from Mazzo and tipped Parker, the complaint says. In January 2009, Parker bought 25,000 shares of Advanced Medical Optics based on insider information about the Abbott deal, according to the complaint.

On the day the deal was announced publicly, Parker sold all his shares, reaping $347,920 in profits, the complaint says.

Murray has agreed to pay $358,151 to settle the allegations from a related SEC lawsuit, the agency said Friday.

Parker's attorney, James L. Sanders of Reed Smith of Los Angeles, said he had "no comment" on the allegations.

In a Feb. 14 interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Parker said he became friends with Romney during or before the 2008 campaign.

Parker is the author of a book, "On the Brink, America's Choice in 2012," in which he extols Romney and explains why he thinks Romney should be elected president.

The Romney campaign declined comment Friday on Parker's connection to the campaign.

tharvey@sltrib.com

Twitter: TomHarveySltrib