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Needham police officer and two other suspects charged in federal insider trading case

A Needham police officer and two other men were arrested Wednesday for their alleged roles in an insider trading scheme, officials said.

In a statement, US Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office identified the officer as David Forte, 58, of Acton, and his codefendants as John Younis, 59, of Bristol, R.I., and Gregory Manning, 59, of Needham.

The three men are each charged with a sole count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. They made initial remote appearances Wednesday afternoon in US District Court in Boston, records show. None of the men entered pleas, and prosecutors agreed to pretrial “release on conditions,” legal filings said. A probable cause hearing is set for Feb. 4.

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Court papers, the statement said, allege the scheme began in June 2016, when Forte obtained non-public information from a close relative who is a senior executive at Analog Devices, Inc., a Norwood-based semiconductor company.

The information, the statement said, pertained to Analog’s planned acquisition of Linear Technology Corp., a California-based semiconductor company.

Forte allegedly tipped off his two close friends, Manning and Younis, who both bought shares of Linear stock in the week before the public announcement of the acquisition in July 2016.

Younis also allegedly bought call options, or bets that the price of a stock will increase before the option expires, and told a business associate to purchase Linear shares too, Rollins’s office said.

Once the deal was announced, the statement said, Manning, Younis, and Younis’s associate allegedly sold their Linear securities at a profit, and Manning tossed Forte a kickback for his stock tip.

The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud carries a maximum prison term of five years upon conviction, the statement said.

In a separate statement Wednesday, Needham police Chief John Schlitter said Forte, a member of the force since 2005, “has been placed on paid administrative leave pending further information surrounding the allegations.”

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Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.