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Kodak CEO, Top Lawyer to Testify in NY Insider Trading Probe (1)

June 15, 2021, 11:42 PM

Eastman Kodak Co.’s chief executive officer must testify publicly in an investigation of whether his sale of company shares last year constituted insider trading, a judge ordered.

CEO James Continenza and General Counsel Roger Byrd must answer questions this fall and produce documents this month in the probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James, New York state judge Barbara Jaffe ordered on Tuesday. James asked the court this month to order Kodak and the executives to provide evidence, saying she had “determined to commence an action” against Kodak and Continenza.

James alleges that Kodak and Continenza violated New York securities law when the CEO bought 46,737 shares of the company’s stock on June 23, 2020. The trades came about a month before the stock soared on an announcement by Donald Trump’s White House of a deal to lend Kodak $765 million to produce drug ingredients amid the coronavirus pandemic. The deal was later put on hold.

“Today’s order will force Mr. Continenza and Kodak’s general counsel to testify in open court, where the facts will be exposed before the American people,” James said in a statement.

In a statement, the Rochester print and chemicals company called the ruling “strictly procedural and fully expected.”

“Jim Continenza was pre-cleared to trade by the company’s general counsel,” an outside spokeswoman for Kodak said in the statement. “He did nothing wrong. We are confident that the facts and the law are on our side and are fully prepared to present our case in court.”

Jaffe’s order requires Byrd to testify on Sept. 24 and Continenza on Oct. 1. Kodak must turn over relevant documents by the end of June.

The case is James v. Eastman Kodak Co., 451652/2021, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

(Adds Kodak statement in fifth and sixth paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net

Peter Jeffrey, Brendan Case

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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