The US securities regulator has charged a worker with insider trading in Dell's purchase of Perot Systems this week.

Reza Saleh of Richardson, Texas made US$8.6 million in illicit profits by purchasing stock options ahead of the Dell announcement and selling them when Perot's stock soared the day of the deal, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a statement. Saleh learned about the deal while performing duties for two Perot Systems and two Perot-related private companies, the SEC alleged.

Dell this week agreed to pay $3.9 billion for Perot Systems, a services provider focused on the health-care sector. The $30 per share it offered for Perot was a heavy premium over the previous trading day's closing price of $17.91.

The SEC filed a complaint with a federal court in Texas and is seeking an order to freeze Saleh's assets, it said.

Saleh bought over 9,000 Perot Systems call options, or contracts that let the holder buy stock at a set price, ahead of the deal and sold all of them immediately after it was announced, the SEC alleged. After being contacted by the SEC for suspicious behavior, Saleh told a Perot director that he knew about the deal when he traded, the SEC alleged.

Perot Systems could not immediately be reached for comment.