December 23, 2014 / 7:10 PM / 5 years ago

CORRECTED-Chilean quits company boards to fight U.S. insider trading charges

(Corrects company name to Abbott Laboratories from Abbot Laboratories, paragraphs 1-2)

SANTIAGO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - A Chilean businessman charged by U.S. regulators with insider trading linked to Abbott Laboratories $2.9 billion acquisition of a pharmaceutical firm said on Tuesday he had quit several board positions to defend his case.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit on Monday accusing Juan Bilbao Hormaeche of reaping more than $10.1 million by trading on non-public information concerning Abbott’s takeover of a Chilean company, CFR Pharmaceuticals SA.

The Santiago-based businessman, a former board member of CFR, said in a statement that he was stepping down as president of banking and insurance company Consorcio Financiero SA, and as board member for some of its business units.

He also steps down as board member of salmon producer Blumar , telecommunications firm Entel, construction company Paz Corp and food and beverage maker Watt’s .

“I want to be clear that these charges are strictly personal and have no relation to the businesses of any of the companies here mentioned,” Bilbao said.

The SEC’s lawsuit also charged a business associate of Bilbao, Tomas Hurtado Rourke, with processing securities transactions for Bilbao and himself through an offshore entity. Rourke earned nearly $500,000 in profits, according to the SEC.

On Tuesday, Rourke also resigned as board member from Banco Consorcio and fund manager Larrain Vial Administradora General de Fondos. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Richard Lough and Grant McCool)

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