November 28, 2015

SEC Cases: Ex-Stockbroker Accused of Bilking Investor for Home Renovations, Marwood Group Admits to Wrongdoing Over Compliance Failures, and Ex-Goldman Sachs Employee Faces Insider Trading Charges

Former Stockbroker Raises Over $1.2M from Customers to Remodel His Home
The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging ex-stockbroker Bernard M. Parker with Securities Act of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1934 violations, as well as violations of Rule 10b-5. The regulator says that Parker raised over $1.2M from long-term brokerage customers and others by getting them to think they were buying real estate tax client certificates and would make up to 9% yearly interest.

Instead, says the SEC, Parker only used a small part of that money to buy the liens. He used their other funds to remodel his house, pay his father-in-law’s bills, and make car payments. The agency also claims that the ex-broker conducted the unregistered and fraudulent investment offering using his Parker Financial Services from ’08 to ’14. He also purportedly failed to notify the investment advisory firm and broker-dealer where he was dually registered about his side business.

The Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania has filed criminal charges against Parker in a parallel case over the alleged broker fraud.

Political Intelligence Firm Admits to Compliance Failures
Marwood Group Research LLC has admitted to compliance failures and will settle the SEC’s case against it by paying a $375,000 penalty. According to the Commission, the firm did not properly notify compliance officers about the times that analysts received potential material nonpublic data from government employees.

The firm’s own written policies and procedures are supposed to play a key part in Marwood Group’s efforts to stop nonpublic and confidential data from reaching its clients so as not to influence their decisions regarding securities trading. Yet its misconduct happened in 2013 when analysts were looking for information about pending regulatory approvals and policies at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Continue reading "SEC Cases: Ex-Stockbroker Accused of Bilking Investor for Home Renovations, Marwood Group Admits to Wrongdoing Over Compliance Failures, and Ex-Goldman Sachs Employee Faces Insider Trading Charges" »

August 2, 2015

SEC Cases: Pennsylvania Lawyer is Charged with Insider Trading, San Diego Investment Adviser is Accused of Stealing Client Funds, and New York Man is Arrested for Fraud

SEC Accuses Pennsylvania Attorney of Insider Trading
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Herbert K. Sudfeld with insider trading ahead of the announcement that Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Harleysville were about to merge in a $760 million deal. The regulator contends that the Pennsylvania attorney illegally traded on the information, which caused Harleysville’s stock price to rise 87% when the announcement went public.

Sudfeld, who was a real estate partner at a law firm that gave Harleysville counsel on the merger, learned about the impending deal from a conversation involving a lawyer and the legal assistant they shared. That attorney was involved in the deal.

Sudfeld is accused of stealing the information and buying Harleysville stock. After the merger was announced, he purportedly sold the share he had bought, making about $79,000 in illegal profits. Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have filed a parallel criminal action against him.

San Diego Investment Adviser Accused of Stealing Client Money, Running Ponzi Scam
Paul Lee Moore and his now defunct investment advisory firm are charged with bilking client funds and operating a Ponzi scheme. According to the complaint filed by the SEC, Moore and Coast Capital Management raised $2.6 million from clients, and he allegedly siphoned almost $2 million for his personal spending.

The regulator said that Moore took the rest of the money and, in Ponzi scam-fashion, paid earlier clients with funds brought in by new clients. He is accused of sending out bogus account statements to clients, as well as sharing these statements with prospective clients. The California investment adviser purportedly lied about his educational background, employment history, as well as about how much Coast Capital managed in assets.

Continue reading "SEC Cases: Pennsylvania Lawyer is Charged with Insider Trading, San Diego Investment Adviser is Accused of Stealing Client Funds, and New York Man is Arrested for Fraud" »

June 11, 2015

Two Stockbrokers, Biotech Employee Face Insider Trading Charges Related to Pharmaceutical Trials and A Merger

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is charging three men with insider trading in the stock and options of Ardea Biosciences Inc. Those charged included the company’s senior director of information technology Michael J. Fefferman, his brother in-law Chad E. Wiegand, and Akis C. Eracleous. Wiegand and Eracleous are stockbrokers.

According to the regulator, Fefferman had knowledge of material nonpublic data and tipped Wiegand prior to public announcements about two pharmaceutical trials, the acquisition of Ardea Biosciences by AstraZeneca PLC, and a licensing agreement for a cancer drug.

The Commission said that the insider trading happened from 4/09 to 4/12. SEC Philadelphia Regional Office Director Sharon B. Binger said that Fefferman breached his duty to his company’s shareholders when he shared confidential information about the important corporate events before the news was made public. She accused Eracleous and Wiegand of taking unfair advantage of the investing public by using this information to trade before others had access to the same knowledge.

Wiegand purportedly used the tip to buy stock in Ardea using different customer accounts. He then allegedly tipped Eracleous so he could do the same. The alleged insider trading generated about $530K in profits.

Continue reading "Two Stockbrokers, Biotech Employee Face Insider Trading Charges Related to Pharmaceutical Trials and A Merger" »

May 16, 2015

Financial Fraud Headlines: “The Financial Coach” to Pay $3.6M in Restitution to Investors, SEC Charges Father and Son with Insider Trading, and Massachusetts Accuses Investment Firm of Elder Financial Fraud

"The Financial Coach" Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Bryan C. Binkholder, also known as the “The Financial Coach,” will serve nine years in prison for bilking clients. Binkholder used books, a talk show, and YouTube videos to market his “hard money lending” program.

According to prosecutors, he touted himself as serving real estate developers that wanted to flip houses but he only made limited number of loans. Instead, he used investors’ funds to pay for his personal spending, give his wife a salary, and pay interest to other investors.

Binkholder’s financial scam took place from about 2008 to 2013. He pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and must pay over $3.6 million in restitution.

Father & Son Charged in $1.1M Insider Trading Scam
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Sean R. Stewart and his father Robert with running an insider trading scam. Sean, who is a managing director at a renowned investment bank, purportedly tipped his father about upcoming mergers and acquisitions involving clients of two investment banks where he has worked. Robert, a technology company CFO and a certified public accountant, made trades based on these tips that were related to at least half a dozen acquisition and merger announcements. They made some $1.1 million in illegal profits over four years.

Meantime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has filed a parallel action against them.

Massachusetts Regulator Charges Firm With Illegal Security Sales to the Elderly
Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s office has charged Charles Nilosek and his investment firm Positions Benefit with illegally selling escurites to elderly investors. Both Nilosek and his firm acted as unregistered investment advisers when they sold $4 million of securities that were not registered to more than 140 state residents.

Galvin accused Nilosek and the firm of engaging in “bait-and-swtich” tactics to get investors to buy risky commercial mortgage securities. Position Benefits is accused of selling shares of these securities to retirees, as well as people getting ready to retire, and making it seem as if these investments came with a guaranteed return, which they did not.

Also, the SEC ordered Woodbridge Structured Funding LLC, which made the securities sold by Position Benefits, to pay a penalty of $250,000 for its involvement. The California company has consented to pay back the investors.

Even when regulators bring claims and prosecutors file criminal charges against fraudsters, you should still have an experience securities lawyer representing you to pursue the compensation you are owed. Our investment adviser law firm represents investors throughout the United States. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.

The Financial Coach’ gets 9 years in prison for fraud, BizJournals, May 15, 2015

Secretary Galvin Charges Plymouth Man and Firm for Acting as Unregistered Investment Advisers, Orders California Funds to Offer Refunds and Pay a Civil Penalty for Selling Unregistered Mortgage Loans (PDFs)

Read the SEC Complaint against the Stewarts (PDF)

February 20, 2015

SEC Cases: Brothers-In-Law Charged in Louisiana Insider Trading Scam, NY-Based Broker-Dealer Accused of CDO Liquidation-Related Fraud, & Colorado Ponzi Scam is Halted

The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging former VP of The Shaw Group’s construction operations Scott Zeringue and his brother-in-law Jesse Roberts III with insider trading. Zeringue has already agreed to settle the regulator’s charges by consenting to pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus a penalty.

The SEC says that the insider trading took place in 2012 when Zeringue, while working at The Shaw Group, became privy to confidential data about the company’s upcoming acquisition by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. Prior to the announcement of the deal, he bought 125 shares of Shaw stock and asked Roberts to buy for him, too. Roberts went on to tip others and they collectively made close to $1 million in illicit profits.

Meantime, parallel criminal charges have been filed against Roberts. Zeringue has already pleaded guilty to the criminal charges against him.

In another SEC case, the regulator is charging VCAP Securities and its CEO Brett Thomas Graham with improperly arranging for a third party brokerage firm to secretly bid at certain auctions that they conducted for their affiliated investment adviser. The auctions were for liquidating collateralized debt obligations. The brokerage firm was supposed to help them acquire bonds to benefit certain funds.

However, engagement deals with CDO trustees did not allow VCAP and its affiliates to bid while also acting as auction liquidation agent. Because the brokerage firm had access to confidential data regarding bidding, Graham was able to make sure that the third-party firm won the bonds at prices just a little higher than what other bidders made. The affiliate investment adviser would then buy the bonds from the bidder right away.

The Commission said that Graham and the firm made material misrepresentations to the different CDO trustees. They also falsely represented that they would not bid in auctions or wrongly use confidential bidding data. Trustees were given documents that failed to disclose that the affiliate investment adviser was the winning bidder. As a result, the investment adviser was able to get 23 bonds. VCAP and Graham will pay close to $1.5 million to settle SEC charges.

In federal court, the SEC announced an emergency asset freeze and fraud charges against a Colorado-based Ponzi and pyramid scam that promised 700% returns. The scheme purportedly raised $3.8 milion from investors in less than a year.

According to the Commission, Kristine L. Johnson and Troy A. Barnes touted what they called a “3-D matrix “and “triple algorithm.” They got investors to purchase positions in Work With Troy Barnes Incorporated. Web promotions and internet videos were used to solicit participants.

The two reportedly claimed their program wasn’t a pyramid scam, yet the company did not have legitimate business operations. Instead, earlier investors were paid “returns,” which was really money from newer investors. Barnes and Johnson would take money out for their own spending.

SEC Order in the Colorado Ponzi Scam (PDF)

The SEC Order Alleging CDO-Liquidation-Related Fraud (PDF)

The SEC Complaint in the Louisiana Insider Trading Case (PDF)

More Blog Posts:

U.S. Bank National Association Must Pay $18M to Peregrine Customers, Says Court, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 18, 2015

DOJ Investigating UBS Over Losses Related To Firm’s V10 Enhanced FX Carry Strategy, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 17, 2015

US Probing Whether Morgan Stanley Data Breach Was Linked to Fired Financial Adviser, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 18, 2015

February 5, 2015

California Insider Trading Ring Made Almost $750K in Illegal Profits, Says the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission says that former Barclays Capital (ADR) analyst John Gray, his friends Christian Keller and Kyle Martin, and Aaron Shephard committed California insider trading, making close to $750K in illegal profits. They did this by allegedly trading right before four corporate news announcements were made. To settle the securities fraud case, the four men will pay $1.6 million in total.

According to the SEC, Gray, who was an analyst for Barclays at the time, and Kelly traded on confidential merger data that the latter obtained during his job as a trader for two Silicon Valley-based public companies. They purportedly tried to hide the trades by putting them in a brokerage account held under Martin’s name. Gray also tipped Shephard, so that he too could make trades before the announcements.

The first acts of inside trading purportedly occurred when Gray and Keller traded on confidential merger data that Keller found out about while working as an Applied Materials Inc. financial analyst. The traded prior to that company’s acquisition of Semitool Inc. as well as before the one for Varian Semiconductor. When Keller left Applied Materials, their insider trading scam continued while he worked for Rovi Corporation, where he learned to profitably trade in the company’s securities before negative news about Rovi would be announced.

The SEC accused Keller and Gray of using disposable phones to avoid detection and making cash withdrawals that were structured so that they could share profits. The agency’s complaint said that Gray was mostly responsible for making the trades in Martin’s account, and the two of them also put more trades in other accounts because of confidential data that was given by Keller.

Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
SEC Claims Investment Adviser Paid for Fraud Settlement With Client Monies, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 5, 2015

Insider Trading News: SEC Sues Ex-Capital One Data Analysts, U.S. Attorney Bharara Wants Rehearing in Case Involving Overturned Convictions, and Judge Vacates Four Men’s Guilty Pleas, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 23, 2015

Standard & Poor’s Settles Inflated Ratings Case for $1.5 Billion, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 3, 2015

January 23, 2015

Insider Trading News: SEC Sues Ex-Capital One Data Analysts, U.S. Attorney Bharara Wants Rehearing in Case Involving Overturned Convictions, and Judge Vacates Four Men’s Guilty Pleas

Ex-Capital Data One Analysts Are Defendants in SEC Insider Trading Lawsuit
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Nan Huang and Bonan Huang, two former Capital One data analysts, for insider trading. The regulator contends that the two of them used nonpublic data to trade in consumer retail companies’ shares before earnings and sales reports were issued. They allegedly used sales information that the credit card company had collected from millions of customers.

According to the SEC lawsuit, from 11/13 to 1/15 the two analysts made hundreds, perhaps thousands of keyword searches for sales information on at least 170 companies that are publicly traded. They had access to this data because part of their job was to serve as fraud investigators.

The Commission says that the two men knew how to examine the information to figure out whether a company’s sales were going up or down. From 1/12 to 1/15 Huang and Huang purportedly made $2.83 million via share trades, in some instances using call options and put options to make the trades. Stocks that they traded included those belonging to Apple. Capital One fired the two men earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Seeks Rehearing Regarding Ruling Overturning Hedge Fund Fraud Convictions
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will ask for a rehearing of an insider trading case in which convictions were overturned. In the case, United States v. Newman, A United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit panel overturned the convictions of Level Global Investors hedge fund portfolio manager Anthony Chiasson and Diamondback Capital hedge fund portfolio manager Todd Newman. The panel cited a 1983 Supreme Court precedent that said remote tippees could only be held liable if they knew the original tipper and received “personal benefit” from said tippee. This could not be proven against the two men so the court dismissed the cases against them.

“Remote tippees” in insider trading cases are people that find out about material nonpublic data via an intermediary and not straight from the insider that was the original source of the information.

Judge Vacates Insider Trading Guilty Pleas
Just this week, a federal judge vacated guilty pleadings by Thomas Conradt, Daryl Payton, Trent Martin, and David Weishaus. The four men pleaded guilty to trading on non-public data ahead of IBM’s agreement to purchase SPSS for $1.2 billion in 2009. A lawyer working on the deal gave them the information. He passed on the data to Martin but did not think that he would share the information with anyone else or use it for trading.

The men requested that their guilty pleas be withdrawn after the Second Circuit panel overturned the convictions of Chiasson and Newman. U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. granted their request.

Now, ex-Galleon Group trader Zvi Goffer is also saying that he will try to get his insider trading conviction, which came with a ten-year prison term, dismissed. Nicknamed the “Octopussy” while at that firm, Goffer is accused of having direct knowledge that tippers were benefiting and personally directing cash payments to them for giving over the material, non-public data.

U.S. regulators sue former Capital One employees for insider trading, Reuters, January 22, 2015

Insider trading convictions vacated, USA Today, January 22, 2015

Insider-Trading Defendants Allowed to Retract Guilty Pleas, The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2015

More Blog Posts:
SEC Wants $602M Fund Set Up for Victims of SAC Capital’s Insider Trading, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 17, 2014

Ex-Ameriprise Manager Who Helped with SAC Capital Insider Trading Case Settles Charges Against Her, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 9, 2014

Texas State Securities Board Was Special Prosecutor in $1M Securities Fraud Case
, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 22, 2015

December 10, 2014

SEC Headlines: Regulator Probes Oppenheimer Executive, Prepares Insider Trading Case Against Policy Research Firm, & Wants to Suspend Standard & Poor’s From Rating CMBSs

SEC Investigating Ex-Oppenheimer Executive for Securities Law Violations
According to, Robert Okin, Oppenheimer & Co.’s (OPY) former retail brokerage head, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In October, the agency’s enforcement division notified Okin that, based on a preliminary determination, it intended to file charges against him for securities law violations, including failure to supervise.

Okin is no longer with Oppenheimer. He resigned earlier this month to pursue “other interests.” Okin denies violating the Securities Exchange Act.

Marwood Group LLC May Be Subject to Insider Trading Charges
Earlier this month, the SEC notified Marwood Group LLC that it is looking to bring an enforcement action against the Washington policy-research firm for insider trading.

The Commission is looking at whether Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials gave the firm inside information about funding for Provenge, a prostate cancer drug. The product’s manufacturer, Dendreon Corp. (DNDNQ), saw its shares drop before the CMS decided to cut coverage on the medication in 2010, as opposed to after.

According to the regulator, a year before the CMS cut coverage, a CMS employee allegedly gave a Marwood employee insider information about the reduction. A week after the reduction was officially announced, the political intelligence put out a research report that included details about the change in coverage

A Marwood spokesperson maintains that the firm did nothing wrong, noting that no one benefited financially from the information. However, SEC officials have said that such a conversation is the equivalent of insider trading.

Under the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, public officials are obligated to keep government-related non-public data hat could shift share prices confidential.

SEC Looks to Suspend S & P from Rating Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities
The Commission wants to suspend Standard & Poor’s from rating CMBSs. The regulator has been probing whether the credit rating agency modified criteria in 2011 to win business.

In July, the regulator sent S & P a Wells notice notifying it that the agency was pursuing an action linked to six commercial mortgage-backed securities ratings from a few years ago. The purported violations involve the public disclosure and rankings that the credit rating agency made about the securities.

It was in 2011 that the S& P withdrew the grades it issued for a CMBS offering that came from Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs Group (GS). This caused both institutions to drop the deal after its placement with investors.

Standard & Poor had withdrawn the rankings to assess whether there were conflicts in the way it used its methodology. It also stopped rating new CMBSs. In August of that year, however, S & P said that it would resume grading deals, noting that the conflict was not a big deal. It modified its criteria the following year and went back into the market.

SEC investigating top Oppenheimer executive
, Investment News, December 10, 2014

Marwood Grp Gets Wells Notice in Insider Trading Crackdown on 'Political Intelligence'
, Fox Business, December 9, 2014

SEC Seeking S&P’s Suspension From Rating Commercial Mortgage Bonds, Bloomberg, December 8, 2014

2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Ex-California Insurer Charged with Running $11M Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 8, 2014

Morgan Stanley Fined $4M by the SEC for Market Access Rule Violation, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 11, 2014

SEC Claims Fraud Involving a REIT and Bogus Senior Resident Occupants, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December

November 17, 2014

SEC Wants $602M Fund Set Up for Victims of SAC Capital’s Insider Trading

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is asking a district judge to authorize a fair fund to pay back people shareholders who didn't participate in an insider trading scam involving shares of Wyeth LLC and Elan Corp. PLC. The regulator is seeking to reimburse people who traded the stocks over a seven-day period in July 2008, which is the week when SAC Capital Advisors LP liquidated a $700 million position in both companies because of illicit tips obtained by former fund manager Mathew Martoma. The SEC is suggesting that the $602 million it collected from SAC Capital over the matter should be used to repay the shareholders.

SAC Capital, now known as Asset Management LP, had agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle a criminal indictment for the insider trading allegations. Of that money, $616 million was a penalty to the SEC over related charges. However, not all SEC commissioners are on board with the regulator’s fair fund recommendation. Commissioners Michael Piwowar and Daniel Gallagher have expressed their dissent.

Meantime, Martoma has just lost a bid to stay out of jail while he appeals his conviction. Martoma was sentenced to nine years behind bars after he was found guilty of three counts of conspiracy and securities fraud.

He is accused of getting the confidential data from doctors involved in a clinic trial of an Alzheimer’s drug that both Wyeth and Elan were developing. Estimated ill-gotten gains in the insider trading scheme is about $275 million.

The illegal trades occurred between 2006 and 2008. SAC took most of the gains. Several other SAC capital employees also were convicted for insider trading.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, our securities fraud lawyers are here to help investors. Over the years, we have helped thousands of clients, including institutional investors and individual investors, recoup their fraud losses.

SEC Has SAC Capital Idea: Give Insider Fines to Victims, Bloomberg, November 15, 2014

Casting Doubt on Appeal, Court Rejects Bail for Ex-SAC Capital Trader, The New York Times, November 12, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Citigroup, Bank of America Are Selling Soured Home Loans, Sources tell Bloomberg, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 13, 2014

Detroit Suburb Charged with Muni Bond Fraud
, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, November 6, 2014

Texas Pension Fund Sues Tesco For Securities Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 5, 2014

October 23, 2014

Rajaratnam Brother Settles Insider Trading Charges Involving Hedge Fund Advisory Firm Galleon Management

Rajarengan “Rengan” Rajaratnam, the brother of Raj Rajaratnam, has consented to pay over $840,000 to settle insider trading charges filed, against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Rengan, who has not admitted to or denied wrongding, also has agreed to an industry bar. A court must still approve the settlement.

Rengan was a portfolio manager at Galleon. He also co-founded Sedna Capital Management, which is another hedge fund advisory firm. Raj was convicted of insider trading in 2011.

It was in 2013 that the SEC filed charges against him for his involvement in the insider trading scam conducted by his brother Raj and Galleon Management.

According to the Commission from 2006 to 2008 Raj, who was a Galleon founder, repeatedly gave Rengan insider data. The latter made over $3 million in illicit gains for himself and the funds that he managed at Sedna Capital and Galleon. Rengan also purportedly worked with his brother to nurture highly-placed sources and obtain confidential information so that they would benefit over other traders. Some of his illicit trades are said to have involved securities of Hilton Hotels, Akamai Technologies, Polycom and others. Rengan, however, was acquitted in the criminal case against him.

The financial scheme involved securities in over 15 companies that resulted in illicit gains of close to $100 million. To date, the regulator has settled or obtained court order judgments in enforcement actions related to the Galleon fraud against 35 defendants. Some $165 million in monetary sanctions have resulted thus far.

Rajaratnam’s Brother Settles SEC Lawsuit for $841,000, Bloomberg, October 23, 2014

Rengan Rajaratnam's Prosecutors Had Concerns About the Case, The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2014

Read the SEC Complaint Charging Rengan with Insider Trading (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Galleon Group Founder’s Brother Pleads Not Guilty to Insider Trading, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 2, 2013

Ex-Goldman Sachs Board Member Accused of Insider Trading with Galleon Group Co-Founder Seeks to Have SEC Administrative Case Against Him Dropped, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 19, 2011

Galleon Group LLC Co-Founder Raj Rajaratnam Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison Over Insider Trading Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 13, 2011

May 23, 2014

Insider Trading Headlines: Principal of Wynnefield Capital Now On Trial, Ex-Vitamin Company Board Member Settles His Case, and Clinical Drug Trial Doctors Face Charges Related to New Cancer Drug

Wynnefield Capital Inc. Principal On Trial in SEC Insider Trading Case
Nelson Obus, the principal of Wynnefield Capital Inc., is accused of engaging in insider trading to make his hedge fund $1.3 million. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says that he confessed twice that he received a tip that SunSource Inc. was going to be put up for sale. One of the confessions was purportedly to the CEO of SunSource.

In 2001, SunSource announced it was going to be bought by Allied Capital Corp. It’s stock price then doubled. Obus, who had purchased stock in the company, made $1.3 million.

The regulator is also suing ex-GE capital undewriter Brad Strickland and Peter Black, an ex-analyst for Winnyefield. The agency believes Strickland gave Black the tip. The latter then sent the information to Obus. They’ve denied any wrongdoing.

The insider trading case, which the SEC brought in 2006, was initially thrown out by US District Judge George Daniels. A federal appeals court revived the securities case in 2012. Now, Judge Daniels is once again presiding over the case.

The Commission wants to ban the defendants from working as public company directors and officers. It is also seeking penalties.

Ex-NBTY Inc. Board Member and Relatives Settles Insider Trading Charges for Over $500,000
Glenn Cohen, a board member of vitamin company NBTY Inc., has settled SEC charges accusing him of insider trading along with other family members. According to the Commission, Cohen gave his three brothers, Craig Cohen, Steven Cohen, and Marc Cohen, and Laurie Topal the confidential data that NBTY Inc. was working on the terms of its sale by The Carlyle Group. They made illicit profits of $175,000 and are settling for over $500,000.

Aside from the financial penalties, Glenn Cohen is barred from taking on the role of director or officer in a public company. By settling, the Cohens and Topal are not denying or admitting to the SEC charges.

Clinical Trial Doctors Involved In Testing of New Cancer Drug Are Accused of Insider Trading
Dr. Franklin M. Chu and Dr. Daniel J. Lam are now facing insider trading charges accusing them of illegally trading on the knowledge that the Food and Drug Administration had stopped clinical trials of Capesaris, the prostate cancer drug that GTx Inc. was developing. The SEC believes that when the share price dropped by more than 36%, doctors avoided substantial losses because they'd sold their stocks in GTx.

Lam and Chu have agreed to settle the SEC charges, which also accuse them of making over $45,000 in illicit profits. They will collectively pay $116,864.

SEC Charges Two Clinical Drug Trial Doctors With Insider Trading,, May 19, 2014

Read the SEC Complaint Against the Cohens and Topal (PDF)

Wynnefield’s Obus Traded on Inside Tip, SEC Says in Trial, Bloomberg/Businessweek, May 20, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Insider Trading Roundup: Lawson Software Founders Pay $5.8M to Settle SEC Allegations, Three Sales Managers Face SEC Charges, and Kentucky Mayor Will Turn Over Illicit Profits, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 16, 2014

Former Morgan Stanley Broker and Two Others Allegedly Ran $5.6M Insider Trading Scam, Swallowed The Information, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 19, 2014

FBI Probes Possible High-Speed Trading, Insider Trading Link, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 1, 2014

May 16, 2014

Insider Trading Roundup: Lawson Software Founders Pay $5.8M to Settle SEC Allegations, Three Sales Managers Face SEC Charges, and Kentucky Mayor Will Turn Over Illicit Profits

Lawson Software Founders Resolve SEC Insider Trading Case
Richard Lawson, his brother William, and John Cerullo have agreed to pay $5.8 million to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that they engaged in insider trading prior to the merger between Lawson Software Inc. and two companies: Info Global Solutions and a Golden Gate Capital affiliate. The three men founded the software company.

According to the insider trading case, Richard tipped William and Cerullo that despite media and analyst reports the company was not the focus of a bidding war. This resulted in their selling of 1.8 million in company shares at prices that were inflated because of the speculation. They purportedly made illicit profits of $2 million when they sold the shares.

Now, Richard has consented to pay a $1.56 million fines. William, the former CEO of Lawson Software, will pay $3.87 million. Cerullo will pay $374,000. By settling, they are not denying or admitting to the securities fraud charges.

Three Ex-Qualcomm Inc. Sales Managers Face Insider Trading Charges
The SEC is charging Robert Herman, Derek Cohen, and Michael Fleischli with engaging in insider trading . The three men were former sales managers at Qualcomm Inc.

They are accused of buying stock in Atheros Communications securities after finding out during a sales meeting that their employer was negotiating to acquire Atheros. When the two companies finally announced the deal, the three men sold their securities and profited.

The regulator says that Cohen made over $200,000 in illegal profits, while Herman profited $30,000 and Fleischli made $3,000. They are charged with violating the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934’s Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California has filed a parallel action against Herman and Cohen to announce criminal charges.

Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky Mayor To Pay Penalty and Turn over Insider Trading Profits
Chris Wiest, the mayor of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, has resolved the SEC insider trading allegations. He is accused of buying 35,000 shares of InfoLogix stock because he received information that the company was going to be acquired by Stanley Black & Decker. At the time, Wiest was an attorney involved in the deal, which had not been announced yet. In December 15, 2010, Stanley purchased InfoLogix for $61 million.

The SEC says that Wiest purchased the common stock in his brokerage account for his retirement plan, paying prices from $1.95 to $2.84 over a period of nearly two months prior to the deal. He sold a significant number of shares a day after news of the acquisition was made public.

By settling Wiest is not denying or admitting to the charges. He will pay back the $56,292 he made in trading profits plus prejudgment interest and a penalty.

SEC v. Cohen, Fleischli, and Herman (PDF)

SEC v. Lawson, Lawson, and Cerullo (PDF)

In the Matter of Christopher Wiest, Respondent (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Jury Says Wyly Brothers From Texas Committed Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 14, 2014

Former Morgan Stanley Broker and Two Others Allegedly Ran $5.6M Insider Trading Scam, Swallowed The Information, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 19, 2014

SAC Capital Advisors LP Expected to Plead Guilty to Insider Trading Criminal Charges, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 31, 2013

May 14, 2014

Jury Says Wyly Brothers From Texas Committed Fraud

A jury says that the wealthy Texas billionaire brothers Charles and Samuel Wyly committed fraud by setting up a secret scam using offshores trusts and making $550M in illegal trading profits. The Texas securities ruling of liability is based on claims brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The civil trial occurred following years of probes and litigation by the SEC and others. While the Wylys (Charles died in a 2011 car crash) admitted to setting up trusts on the Isle of Man for tax benefits, asset protection, and estate planning, they have denied wrongdoing. The brothers maintained that they were under no obligation to disclose the trusts because legally they weren’t the beneficial owners of the securities in them. They said that they relied on an “army of lawyers” to make sure their activities were in compliance with the law.

The SEC said the Wylys set up the trusts to hide trading that took place between 1992 and 2004 in four companies. The brothers were the boards of these four entities.

During the trial, a number of witnesses testified that the Wylys were in control of the trusts and that trustees were required to follow their orders. The Commission claims that the brothers used their improper gains to purchase $100 million of real estate and tens of millions of dollars in jewelry and art and other items, as well as make substantial charity donations. It wants the Wylys to pay penalties and give back the $550 million in allegedly illegal gains.

Commenting on the jury verdict, SEC Division of Enforcement Director Andre Ceresney said that the agency would continue to hold accountable fraudsters regardless of their scam’s complexity or efforts to conceal their wrongdoing. The regulator, however, isn’t done with the Wylys.

The SEC claims they made $31.7 million from insider trading in Sterling Software after the company was sold in 1999. A U.S. district court judge will decide those claims and whether there will be any penalties.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP is a Texas securities fraud law firm.

Wyly brothers hid assets, jury rules, Dallas Morning News, May 12, 2014

Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
State Senator Reprimanded For Violating the Texas Securities Act, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 8, 2014

$550M Securities Fraud Case Between Texas’ Wyly Brothers & SEC Goes to Trial
, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 2, 2014

DOJ’s Fund for Madoff Victims Has Received 51,700 Claims Worth $40B, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, May 14, 2014

March 19, 2014

Former Morgan Stanley Broker and Two Others Allegedly Ran $5.6M Insider Trading Scam, Swallowed The Information

In an alleged insider trading scam that could have been ripped out of the plot of a movie, prosecutors are accusing three men of engaging in methods of spycraft, including eating the evidence, as they ran an insider trading racket that netted about $5.6 million. The information they used was purportedly obtained from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, which is the premier mergers-and-acquisitions law practice in New York. The firm is known for its work involving mergers and acquisitions and private equity.

Prosecutors say that Steven Metro, a managing clerk at the law firm, used his employer’s computer system to gather information about deals and other corporate developments involving clients. He then shared the information, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, included data about Tyco International Ltd.’s intentions to purchase Brink’s Home Security Holdings Inc., as well as the Office Dept. Inc. Office Max Inc. merger, with an unnamed mortgage broker during coffee shop and bar meetings. That person then allegedly gave the info to broker Vladimir Eydelman, who until recently, was with Morgan Stanley (MS) (and before that (Oppenheimer & Co. (OPY)) Edylman, 42, then traded on the data.

Metro and Eydelman were arrested this week and then released on $1 million bond. They face numerous criminal charges, including securities fraud. Meantime, the unnamed mortgage broker is working with prosecutors and is expected to consent to a plea deal.
Both Morgan Stanley & Oppenheimer are also cooperating in the probe.

Beginning in 2009, Metro and the unnamed broker would meet with friends for drinks. The unnamed broker and Eydelman would then meet by the large clock at Grand Central. A piece of paper with the stock trading symbol of the company would allegedly be flashed between them and then eaten once the data was memorized. Eydelman also allegedly set up a fake paper trail and “contrived emails” with information to make it seem as if the illegal trades were legitimate.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP represents securities fraud victims in getting back their losses. Contact our investment fraud lawyers today.

U.S. Alleges Inside Traders Used Spycraft, Ate Evidence, The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2014

Morgan Stanley Broker Charged in Post-It Insider Scheme, Bloomberg, March 19, 2014

More Blog Posts:
JP Morgan VP Barred from Securities Industry By FINRA for Insider Trading Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 25, 2014

JPMorgan To Pay $2.6B in Penalties in Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scam Settlements, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 7, 2014

SAC Capital Advisors LP Expected to Plead Guilty to Insider Trading Criminal Charges, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 31, 2013

January 25, 2014

JP Morgan VP Barred from Securities Industry By FINRA for Insider Trading Scam

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is barring J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC (JPM) vice president David Michael Gutman and ex-Meyers Associates LP Christopher John Tyndall from the securities industry for their alleged involvement in an insider trading scheme. According to the self-regulatory organization between March 2006 and October 2007, Gutman, who works in the firm’s conflicts office, improperly shared information with Tyndall that was non-public and material about at least 15 pending corporate merger and acquisition transactions

Tyndall then purportedly used the data to trade before at least six corporate announcements and recommended that customers and friends invest in the stock too. Tyndall and Gutman are longtime friends. The latter found out about the transactions from his job.

The inside information that Gutman provided Tyndall had to do with acquisitions involving Genesis HealthCare Corporation, American Power Conversion Corporation, First Data Corporation, Alliance Data Systems Corporation, SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae), and Cytyc Corporation. By settling, Tyndall and Gutman are not denying or admitting to the securities charges.

Insider Trading
Illegal insider trading happens when the trade is made using nonpublic, material information about a security. Often, there may be a tipster who provides the insider information to the person who makes the trade or the person with access to the nonpublic, material information may be the person who also makes the trade. Regulators have brought insider trading cases against directors, corporate officers, brokers, investment advisers, and others.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP represents investors with securities fraud claims and lawsuit. Contact our securities law firm today.

FINRA Bars J.P. Morgan Vice President and Broker Friend in Insider Trading Scheme, FINRA, January 16, 2014

Insider Trading,

More Blog Posts:

JPMorgan To Pay $2.6B in Penalties in Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scam Settlements, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 7, 2014

JPMorgan to Pay $920M to Settle London Whale Debacle & $80M Over Credit-Card Practice Allegations, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, September 19, 2013

California AG Files Lawsuit Against JP Morgan Chase Alleging Debt Collection Abuse Over 100,000 Credit Card Cases, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 16, 2013

December 23, 2013

Ex-SAC Capital Manager Steinberg is Convicted of Securities Fraud & Insider Trading

A federal jury has convicted former SAC Capital portfolio manager Michael Steinberg for insider trading, conspiracy, and securities fraud. Prosecutors contend that he traded on confidential information that he received from another employee.

Steinberg is one of eight employees at the hedge fund’s Sigma Capital Management division charged with insider trading and the first to go to trial. Six of the others pleaded guilty, including SAC analyst Jon Horvath, who prosecutors said is the one that gave Steinberg the nonpublic information. Horvath, who turned witness for the prosecution, has admitted to exchanging illegal tips with people at different firms. He said that Steinberg pressured him to provide “proprietary” information about technology stocks.

Steinberg is accused of making a number of trades, including ones before Dell’s earnings report in August 2008 went out. He reportedly netted $1 million in trades from this after he started shorting the computer company’s stock following a tip that Dell’s gross margins would fall short of Wall Street’s expectations. Similar tips that Steinberg received about Nvidia reportedly netted the hedge fund over $400,000.

Steinberg’s conviction comes just one month after SAC Capital Advisors, which Steven A. Cohen owns, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud related to insider trading in criminal court. The hedge fund will pay at least $1.2 billion in fines and is being converted into an office that will just manage about $9 billion of Cohen’s own fortune. Although Cohen has not been criminally charged, the Securities and Exchange Commission did file a securities case accusing him of failing to reasonably supervise employees.

Still waiting for his trial is Mathew Martoma, the seventh SAC employee accused of insider trading. Last week, a federal judge turned down the ex- SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager’s request for the dismissal of some of the insider trading charges against him.

Some of his trades were allegedly made in American depository receipts of Elan Corp. ELN.I, which is an Irish drugmaker. While Martoma argued that US securities law did not cover these transactions, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe said that they did. Gardephe, therefore, did not toss out one of the two securities charges against him, as well as a conspiracy count.

Prosecutors claim that Martoma played a role in SAC affiliate CR Intrinsic Investors avoiding $276 million in losses five years ago by recommending that it sell Wyeth and Elan shares. The recommendation purportedly came from tips regarding the poor trial outcomes for a diabetes drug.

Securities Fraud
If you are an investor that suspects your losses are due to insider trading, please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today. Our insider trading fraud lawyers represent investors throughout the US.

Ex-SAC trader is convicted of insider trading, NY Times, December 18, 2013

Ex-SAC manager Martoma fails to end part of insider case, Reuters, December 17, 2013

More Blog Posts:
SAC Capital Advisors to Pay $1.2B Penalty, Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Violations, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 4, 2013

SAC Capital Advisors LP Expected to Plead Guilty to Insider Trading Criminal Charges, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 31, 2013

SEC Charges SAC Capital Hedge Fund Adviser Stephen Cohen With Failure to Stop Insider Trading, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, July 20, 2013

November 4, 2013

SAC Capital Advisors to Pay $1.2B Penalty, Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Violations

SAC Capital Advisors is the first large Wall Street firm in a very long time to plead guilty to criminal behavior. The insider trading violations come with a $1.2 billion penalty. SAC is owned by billionaire Steve Cohen.

In addition to the fine and guilty plea, federal prosecutors in Manhattan will place the fund on probation for five years and it will no longer be allowed to manage outside investors’ money. Issuing its own statement, SAC said it is taking responsibility for the “handful” of individuals in the firm that pled guilty to insider trading and whose misconduct resulted in the fund’s liability. However, it pointed out, these men made up a “tiny fraction” of the firm and are not reflective of the 3,000 people that have worked there over the last two decades.

Cohen has not been criminally charged. However, the plea agreement is a stain on his reputation and what was once considered a stellar investment track record. The fund has posted average yearly returns of close to 30% since 1992. Now, SAC’s admission that a number of its employees traded stocks because of their access to secret information will always call his success into question.

It was just three months ago that a grand jury indicted SAC for allowing a “systematic” insider trading scam to take place for over a decade—from 1999 through 2010. Eight ex-SAC traders were charged with securities fraud. Six of them pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors. The other two are about to go on trial.

Earlier this year, SAC agreed to pay federal regulators $616 million in fines over two insider trading cases. The $602 million fine was imposed upon SAC unit Intrinsic Investors because over more than $275 million in profits and losses related to insider information about an Alzheimer’s drug trial. Stocks in pharmaceutical companies Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Elan Corp. were traded. SAC unit Sigma Capital Management was ordered to pay a $14 million fine for insider trading involving Nvidia Corp. and Dell Inc. stocks. The two portfolio managers involved in these cases allegedly made profits and avoided losing trades in the tens of millions of dollars.

Still yet to be resolved is the civil action filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Cohen for this latest insider trading debacle. The regulator is accusing him of ignoring the misconduct that was taking place at SAC. The New York Times says that according to sources the SEC wants to bar Cohen from ever managing money again. (Right now, all of the fund’s investors have taken their money out of SAC—leaving about $9 billion under its management. The money primarily belongs to Cohen and his employees.)

Also, criminal authorities are continuing to investigate the billionaire and other SAC employees, and FBI agents are still looking at the hedge fund’s trading records and seeking more informants. The government has been looking into widescale insider trading allegations within the industry for some time now. Already, there have been over 70 convictions.

SAC Capital Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading, NY Times, March 15, 2013

SAC Hit With Record Insider Penalty, The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2013

More Blog Posts:
SEC Charges SAC Capital Hedge Fund Adviser Stephen Cohen Faces With Failure to Stop Insider Trading, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, July 20, 2013

New Stream Capital LLC Hedge Fund Executives Face Criminal Securities Fraud Charges, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 28, 2013

Hedge Fund Manager Philip Falcone Consents to $18M Securities Fraud Settlement, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, May 16, 2013

Continue reading "SAC Capital Advisors to Pay $1.2B Penalty, Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Violations" »

April 16, 2013

Securities Fraud Roundup: 6th Circuit Affirms Ruling Affirms Broker’s Liability Over Reverse Merger, Ex-Stockbroker Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Over IBM’s SPSS Acquisition, & Father and Son Convicted in $50M Real Estate Fraud

6th Circuit Affirms Ruling Affirming Broker’s Liability Over Reverse Merger
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit says that a district court was correct in granting summary judgment to the Securities and Exchange Commission over its claim that broker Aaron Tsai made disclosure and registration violations related to a “reverse merger” involving a shell company. The lower court had ordered Tsai to pay about $352,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest while barring him from future violations. Affirming that court’s decision, the appeals court said that the broker’s transactions in unregistered stock were not exempt, pursuant to 1933 Securities Act Rule 144(k).

Tsai was the former president and CEO MAS Acquisition XI Company, which had a reverse merger and sold shares on the OTCBB in 2000. After his initial filing was turned down, he moved shares from five former directors who were initial company shareholders, to 28 other shareholders via previously signed stock powers. Tsai then obtained approval to finish up the reverse merger with Blue Point. The SEC filed civil enforcement naming him and other defendants while alleging Securities Act and Exchange Act violations, including failure to register securities before their sale or offering and failure to reveal that he had beneficial ownership of the securities.

Ex-Stockbroker Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Involving IBM, SPSS Acquisition
In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ex-broker Thomas Conradt pleaded guilt to insider trading charges, including securities fraud and conspiracy, involving IBM Corp.'s (IBM) acquisition of SPSS Inc. Conradt’s roommate, co-defendant and equities analyst Trent Martin, allegedly tipped him about the insider news. Prosecutors say that the former then purchased shares of the software manufacturer and tipped colleague David Weishaus about the likely merger. They also allegedly tipped another two co-workers.

Conradt, Weishaus, & Martin, whom prosecutors say made over $1 million, in insider trading profits, are also facing an SEC enforcement action over this alleged misconduct.

$50M Real Estate Fraud Leads to Criminal Convictions for Father and Son
A jury has convicted real estate investment fund BBC Equities LLC founder John Bravata and his son Antonio of securities fraud involving allegations that they bilked investors of over $50 million. Per the indictment, beginning in 2006, Bravata got investors involved in fund while his son became a willful participant in the scam. Bravata told potential investors that BBC was a safe vehicle and that he would not be getting any commissions.

However, as BBC’s manager, Bravata not only got compensation, but also, he paid himself from investors’ money whether or not the fund turned a profit. Only $20.7 million of investors’ money actually went into real estate, while the rest was used as a “general slush fund” for personal spending, bringing in new investors, and making Ponzi-like payments. The SEC sued Bravata over these alleged actions in 2009.

Please contact our stockbroker fraud law firm to ask for your free, no obligation case assessment.

SEC v. Sierra Brokerage Services Inc. (PDF)

Former broker pleads guilty to insider trading, Reuters, April 3, 2013

United States v. Bravata

More Blog Posts:
Previous Dissent by Arbitrator is Not Reason to Vacate Award Morgan Keegan Was Ordered to Pay Investors, Says District Court, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 8, 2013

Goldman Sachs Execution and Clearing Must Pay $20.5M Arbitration Award in Bayou Ponzi Scam, Upholds 2nd Circuit, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, July 14, 2012

$698M MBS Lawsuit Seeking Damages from Goldman Sachs Group Can Take on Class Action Status, Says District Judge
, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, February 23, 2012

March 29, 2013

SEC Reaches $600M Insider Trading Settlement with SAC Capital Advisors-Affiliated Hedge Fund Advisory Firm

Calling it its largest insider trading settlement to date, the Securities and Exchange Commission has settled its securities case with CR Intrinsic Investors LLC, an SAC Capital Advisors-affiliated hedge fund advisory firm, for $600 million. The regulator had sued the CR Intrinsic Investors and portfolio manager Matthew Martoma last year, accusing the latter of gaining access to inside information about an Alzheimer's drug trial that was being developed by pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and Elan Corp. plc. before the results were released to the public.

The advanced information noted that the drug might be ineffective. This allegedly prompted Martoma to liquidate the position of his funds in both companies’ stocks and take on short positions. Martoma and his funds are said to have yielded $276 million in avoided losses (or profits) from the scam. He is now facing related criminal charges.

Earlier this month, the SEC amended its securities lawsuit, adding SAC and four affiliated hedge funds as relief defendants for allegedly receiving ill-gotten games from the insider trading scheme. According to the regulator’s acting director of enforcement George Canellos, the evidence in this case came from “the earth,” meaning that they were obtained from phone records, trading records, business records, and other information (as opposed to wiretaps).

The defendants resolved the securities case without denying or admitting to the claims. They agreed to pay about $275 million in disgorgement, a $275 million penalty, and $52 million in prejudgment interest. A court, however, must approve the settlement.

US v. Martoma (PDF)

SEC v. CR Intrinsic Investors (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Investors are Not Raymond James Financial Customers for FINRA Arbitration Purposes, Rules 4th Circuit, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 28, 2013

Investment Advisors Report: SEC Division Reviews Application of Investment Advisers Act, New Commission Unit Will Watch For Adviser Risk, & Just 1 in 10 SEC Exams Leads to Enforcement Action, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 26, 2013

Continue reading "SEC Reaches $600M Insider Trading Settlement with SAC Capital Advisors-Affiliated Hedge Fund Advisory Firm" »

March 16, 2013

District Court Turns Down Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban’s Summary Judgment Request in Insider Trading Lawsuit by SEC

In SEC v. Cuban, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has rejected Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s request for summary judgment in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s insider trading case against him. This ruling allows the SEC to take the securities claims to a jury.

There have been numerous court rulings already in the regulator’s financial fraud case against Cuban, made on the grounds of an alleged misappropriation theory of insider trading in 2008. The Commission believes that Cuban broke the federal securities laws’ antifraud provisions when he sold stock shares that he owned in after finding out about material non-public information about a PIPE offering that the company was about to make. By getting rid of 600,00 shares, he went on to avoid losing $750,000.

Per the SEC's Texas securities claims, Cuban fooled when he consented to honor a confidentiality agreement about the information related to PIPE and agreed to not trade on this data but then proceeded to sell his stock without first telling the company that he was going to trade on the information. His action caused him to avoid taking huge losses when’s stock price fell after the PIPE offering was announced to the public.

According to the district court, however, a real issue of fact exists regarding whether Cuban consented, at least implicitly, to not trade or use the nonpublic information about PIPE to his benefit. The court said that the SEC must prove that Cuban did not reveal to that he meant to trade on the nonpublic information that was shared with him. If the Texas billionaire did “fully disclose this intention,” then he didn’t deceive and he is not liable under insider trading’s misappropriation theory.

The district court rejected Cuban’s claim that he should get summary judgment because the information he had regarding was immaterial and not confidential and any agreement he made to keep what he knew confidential was not valid per the contract doctrine of mutual mistake of fact. The court said that the SEC has shown enough evidence for a jury to determine that the PIPE information revealed to Cuban was material.

PIPE Offering
PIPE stands for private investment in public equity. In this type of offering, investors agree to buy a certain amount of restricted shares at a set price. In exchange, the company consents to submit a resale registration statement that will allow them to sell back the shares to the public.

Please contact our Texas securities fraud lawyers if you believe your investment losses are a result of some time of investment scam or due to the misconduct of your financial representative.

Related Web Resources:

District Court Turns Down Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban’s Summary Judgment Request in Insider Trading Lawsuit by SEC, Reuters, March 5, 2013

Read the SEC Complaint

More Blog Posts:
Texas Securities Fraud: IMS Securities Settles FINRA Case Alleging Inadequate Supervision of Wholesale Representatives, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 7, 2013

Texas Securities Criminal Case Against Oil and Gas Company Executive Can Proceed, Rules Fifth Circuit, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 6, 2013

US Sentencing Commission is Open to Public Comment on Proposed Amendments that Could Impact Insider Trading Convictions, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 29, 2012