Brazen Nasdaq Inside Trader Had Drug Abuse Record

We had previously written a news article about Donald Johnson, the brazen 20 year employee of the NASDAQ Stock Market who made over $750,000 in illicit profits by trading stocks on confidential information regarding earnings releases and executive changes. The Wall Street Journal has now released information that Mr. Johnson had a history of drug abuse going back to his stint with the U.S. Army, where he was stationed at an Army hospital. He was subsequently discharged for stealing narcotics, according to the article.

Later, while working as a nurse at a private hospital, he falsified medical records 73 times in less than a month to obtain drugs for his personal use and unauthorized use, according to the Virginia Board of Nursing records. His nursing license was revoked by the state in 1987. There is no indication that NASDAQ knew anything about Mr. Johnson’s background when they hired him in 1989, since drug testing and detailed background checks were initiated until 1990.

Persons close to Mr. Johnson have stated that he really had no reason to make the illegal stock trades, since he was making around $300,000 a year, including his bonuses. Johnson pleaded guilty in May 2011 to criminal securities fraud related to insider trades he made over three years, some on his NASDAQ office computer.

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