A former Netflix software engineer and his friend were sentenced to prison for conducting an insider trading scheme that made more than $3 million

The Netflix logo displayed on a phone, with a selection of Netflix titles in the background.
  • A former Netflix software engineer and his friend were sentenced to prison for an insider trading scheme on Friday.
  • Sung Mo Jun and Junwoo Chon used private Netflix subscriber data to make more than $3 million.
  • Another software engineer at Netflix and Jun’s brother were also involved and have pled guilty.

A former Netflix software engineer and his friend were sentenced to prison for an insider trading scheme where they used private subscriber data to make more than $3 million.

Sung Mo Jun, the former Netflix employee involved in the scheme, was sentenced to two years in prison while his friend, Junwoo Chon, was sentenced to 14 months on Friday, according to Seattle federal prosecutors. Jun and Chon were collectively fined $25,000 for their crimes.

Both Jun and Chon pled guilty to the charges in August. Another software engineer at Netflix and Jun’s brother were also involved and have additionally pled guilty, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington.

“Insider trading undermines our capital markets, harms companies by misusing their confidential information, and causes investors to lose faith in the fairness of the system,” Donald M. Voiret, the special agent in charge of the case, said in the statement. “The actions of this trusted employee and his friend were calculated and ongoing to reap a huge profit.”

When Jun was a software engineer for Netflix, he gave private Netflix subscriber data to Chon and his brother, Joon Jun. They then profited by buying and selling Netflix securities based on the information.

After Jun left Netflix in 2017, another engineer that he mentored at the company, Ayden Lee, continued to give him private subscriber information, according to court documents. Joon Jun and Lee are scheduled for sentencing next year.

“What I did was foolish, wrong, illegal…. I have no excuse,” Jun told the court, according to the press release. “I disappointed many people.”

US Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement that the individuals involved were motivated by greed and will be required to face the consequences. 

“Mr. Jun and Mr. Chon were both financially secure with good jobs and good salaries when greed drove them to break the law to increase their own wealth, at the expense of others,” Brown said in a statement. “Such conduct, will not be tolerated.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a separate civil enforcement action against the defendants. Though Jun and Chon have entered into settlements with the SEC, but both men still face additional potential penalties.

“For people in the high tech industry, they will clearly know that there are consequences — including prison time — for this activity,” Judge Richard Jones, who presided over the case, said in a press statement.


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President Biden’s dogs must resign

biden dog thumb
President Biden’s dogs, Major and Champ, relax on the lawn amid accusations of bites and poops.

  • President Biden’s dogs, Major and Champ, have engaged in serious misconduct.
  • They must do the right thing and resign as White House pets.
  • This is an opinion column, the thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When then-Vice Presidential candidate Biden promised his family in 2008 that they’d purchase a puppy if he and Barack Obama won the presidential election, he surely could not have imagined the level of corruption this canine would bring to the White House.

Indeed, “Champ” – a purebred German Shepherd who came from a breeder in Pennsylvania – has been clouded in scandal ever since he first stepped foot in the nation’s capital more than a decade ago. “We are surprised that Sen. Biden chose to purchase a dog from a commercial kennel since he has been a leader on animal-protection issues,” said the Humane Society in 2008.

Three presidential elections later, Champ is still at the center of various misdeeds, only this time, with a new partner in crime. The Biden’s second dog “Major” is also a German Shepherd, but – likely due to the backlash from the Bidens’ buying a kennel dog in 2008 – was adopted from the Delaware Humane Society in 2018. Upon the adoption, the humane society posted on Facebook that it was a “very lucky day” for Major.

But if you ask any of Champ or Major’s victims, they’re anything but lucky. I am calling on both Champ and Major to look inward and realize that they are no longer in a position to lead. They must resign from their roles as White House pets.

Major pain

On March 9, Major locked his eyes on a secret service member in the White House and, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki put it, “reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual.”

There’s a reason Psaki used language befitting of an “officer-involved” shooting: to shift blame from the attacker and place it on the victim. Long have authorities used the “passive voice” to describe misconduct, and this is just the latest example of a corrupt need to protect the powerful. Major didn’t “react in a way that resulted in injury,” Jen, he attacked someone. Bad dog.

In response to the incident, Major spent some time away in Delaware, presumably on administrative leave. He is said to have received White House training within the past couple of weeks, and is now being walked with a leash. Despite these preventative measures – implemented to protect the staff and visitors of the White House just trying to go about their day from a dog with a history of violence – Major would once again find himself in a “biting-involved” incident on March 30. This time, the victim required medical attention. Next time? I shudder to think.

Champ, on the other hand, is the possible culprit of a pile of feces left in the hallway outside of the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room. More disrespectful than pooping inside is the fact that he did so on the White House’s famous red carpet.

Some have tried to blame these actions on the shock of the move to DC or the high number of people coming in and out of the White House, but the time for excuses has passed. Such callous acts are indicative of an apathy towards responsibility and a lack of respect for the position of White House pet.

Suffice it to say, these dogs have a huge platform. Indeed, over 7,500 people attended Major’s “indoguration,” an event so big it landed singer Josh Groban as its musical act. Their popularity and influence cannot be overstated, and it is for this reason that their actions must be highly scrutinized.

They had an opportunity to meet this role with dignity, and instead, have behaved unlike any major or champion I’ve ever heard of. By breaking our trust, they have conceded their inability to lead, and they must resign as White House pets. For the good of the White House staff and the country, they should return to being civilians, perhaps spending more time with family in Delaware.

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