Says she lied to investors about prenatal DS test
The former head of research and development at Sequenom Corp. has pleaded guilty to lying to investors and analysts about a company effort to develop a noninvasive prenatal screening test for Down syndrome.
As part of a plea bargain, Elizabeth Dragon admitted she was part of a conspiracy to inflate the company’s stock price, and agreed to help prosecutors in related cases. She admitted to making false claims to investors and analysts about the effectiveness of the test, and said she and others manipulated data to make the test appear more accurate than it was. Dragon’s sentencing is set for August 30.
“Elizabeth Dragon knew the truth about Sequenom’s Down syndrome test, yet she told the public it was a near-perfect success,” said Rosalind Tyson, who heads the Los Angeles office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Her actions misled investors with exaggerated information about a significant new product that never materialized.”