Mass. police chief to resign after being charged in insider trading scheme

DIGHTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts police chief who was charged in connection with an insider trading scheme over the summer plans to resign from his position this week, officials said.

Dighton Police Chief Shawn Cronin intends to resign from his position effective Saturday, Dighton Board of Selectmen Chairman Peter D. Caron said in a statement.

“The Dighton Board of Selectmen has been made aware of Police Chief Shawn P. Cronin’s intention to resign from his position as chief of the Dighton Police Department effective Saturday, Sept. 30,” Cronin wrote. “On behalf of the community, the Board would like to thank Chief Cronin for his dedicated service to the Police Department, the Town, and its residents.”

Cronin received confidential details about a merger between two pharmaceutical companies and traded on that information illegally, a complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in New York’s Southern District Court in late June indicated.

Joseph Dupont, 44, of Rehoboth, and a close friend of Cronin’s, was a senior employee at Alexion when he worked on the company’s acquisition of Portola beginning in January 2020, according to the SEC.

Dupont allegedly tipped Cronin off about the Alexion-Portola acquisition deal months before it was announced, even allegedly texting Cronin in April, “Remember that stock I told you about? Good time to buy.”

Cronin then used this information to purchase stock and call options and told his close friends, Jarett Mendoza, 44, of North Dighton, and Stanley Kaplan, 45, of Hopewell Junction, New York, according to court documents.

Kaplan would then allegedly tell his friend, Paul Feldman, 48, of Poughsquag, New York, about the upcoming merger, and that information would then allegedly be told to more coworkers.

All four men would invest in Portola stock in April before the deal was finalized on May 5.

Cronin, Kaplan, Feldman, and Mendoza would stand to profit more than $2.3 million on the day the deal went public, as Portola’s stock price jumped by over 130%, the SEC said. The people who Kaplan and Feldman told would also allegedly make $1.7 million off the announcement.

In a brazen text, Kaplan would text Feldman on May 15, “Let’s hope our golden goose will continue laying golden eggs!” in reference to the Alexion-Portola deal.

Dupont, Cronin, Mendoza, Kaplan, and Feldman were all charged with violating the antifraud and tender offer provisions of the federal securities laws by the SEC.

The Dighton Board of Selectmen didn’t release any additional information on the matter.

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