Yan, a citizen of China, had been employed as a post-doctoral associate in MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics, according to Kimberly Allen, a spokeswoman for MIT.
Those mergers were negotiated by Yan's own wife, who was assigned to the team of Linklater attorneys working on the project.
Summary: The husband of an associate at Linklaters has been arrested for insider trading by using the work his wife was doing to make trades.
After he was detained in Massachusetts, Yan was charged with securities fraud and wire fraud.
He was released on $500,000 bail soon after his arrest on Wednesday. Linklaters represented Steinhoff International Holdings NV, which in August 2016 said it was buying Mattress Firm.
He ultimately bought approximately 300 shares in the company over the course of six weeks.
Wu is also named as a defendant in the criminal complaint that was filed on Wednesday.
The case is U.S. v. Yan, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-mj-1073.
Prosecutors say Yan's illegal trades came after he studied online how to avoid law enforcement detection.
Fei Yan, 31, was arrested in MA after federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused him of trading past year on inside information about South Africa's Sibanye Gold Ltd planned $2.2 billion acquisition of Stillwater Mining. The next day, after the sale was announced, he sold the options for $109,420.
That is when they discovered his searches.
According to prosecutors [PDF] this week, the evidence against Yan includes multiple search engine queries made from his work PC on "how sec detect unusual trade" and "insider trading with global account", as well as visits to multiple webpages on the subject, including one titled "Want to commit insider trading?"
The following day, he 'conducted a Google search for the search string "insider trading with worldwide account" and accessed articles discussing the Commission's insider trading enforcement actions with global dimensions'. Subsequent searches included looking for phrases "insider trading with global account", and read a website telling users how not to commit the crime. Here's How Not to Do It'.