McGee had also allegedly tipped his co-worker Zirinsky to the merger. Zirinsky likewise bought stock, using his own account plus those of his wife, sister, mother and 89-year old grandmother. He allegedly tipped his father and a friend in Hong Kong, who, in turn, passed the tip along to others. The SEC now is seeking disgorgement from this group of $1.8 million in "ill-gotten gains," plus penalties. No action is being brought against the unnamed PHYL executive.
Paulo Lam and Marianna sze wan Ho, two parties named in the SEC's suit, have already paid and settled, without admitting any wrongdoing.
Zirinsky's attorney, Richard Levan, asked by ABC News for comment, declined. McGee's attorney, John Grugan, did not respond.
Paul Johnson, a spokesman at Ameriprise Financial, said in a statement: "We fully cooperated with the SEC on this matter and conducted an internal review. We have strict rules related to the use of material, nonpublic information and have suspended Mr. McGee ad Mr. Zirinsky."