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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com’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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com 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

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

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