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luke i am your father

The Darth Vader Defense to Insider Trading

Frank Hixon Jr. is trying to evade insider trading charges by denying he knew his father. His father is not a malevolent cyborg. His name is even easier to decipher than Darth Vader; It’s Frank Hixon Sr. Hixon is challenging the charges so I have only the government’s version of the facts. Perhaps he has […]

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railroad

Working on the Railroad is Not Insider Trading

Gary Griffiths was a vice president and chief mechanical officer at Florida East Coast Railway. Cliff Steffes was a trainman at the Bowden Rail Yard for the company and the nephew of Gary. Gary and Cliff noticed there was a surprising number of tours of the rail yard by men in suits. Gary’s boss asked […]

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insider trading

You Can’t Hide Your Insider Trading in Your Spouse’s Account

Steven M. Dombrowski was the former director of internal audit at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. Through his position he learned that the company’s first quarter 2012 financial results were much worse than expected. Despite restrictions, he decided to profit from his company’s misfortune. He clearly knew that he couldn’t trade in the stock, so he decided […]

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The SEC Tries to Make an International Case on Insider Trading

The BHP – Potash merger in 2010 was a bit leaky. The SEC has an ongoing investigation into suspicious trading ahead of the the August 17, 210 public announcement of BHP Billiton’s acquisition of Potash Corporation. The latest SEC points the SEC’s accusatory finger at two Spanish citizens. At first I though the SEC had […]

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chattem

The Leaky Merger and Insider Trading

On December 21, 2009, Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company, announced a tender offer for Chattem, a Tennessee-based distributor of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, at the price of $93.50 per share. Shares of Chattem closed 32.60% higher than the prior trading day’s close of $69.98 and volume increased more than 3,000% to 10.3 million shares. This may […]

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Red Flags for Insider Trading

Badin Rungruangnavarat was very lucky. He invested a bunch of cash from May 21 to May 28. When the market closed on May 29 he had unrealized gains of over $3 million and had achieved a return in excess of 3000%. Now he is unlucky because the Securities and Exchange Commission froze his investment gain […]

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wyly SEC Compliance

Challenging the SEC on the New Five Year Limit

  It didn’t take long for defendants to take advantage of the Gabelli decision. That Supreme Court decision enforced the strict five year statute of limitations on enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is not entitled to the “discovery rule” which would have allowed the SEC’s five-year time bar to start […]

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Heinz Ketchup

A Little Extra Ketchup on It

Warren buffet loves ketchup, and with his $23 billion acquisition of Heinz, he may love it even more. Apparently someone found out about the flow of ketchup before the deal was announced and profited handsomely on that knowledge. The Securities and Exchange Commission brought an emergency case when they discovered an astonishingly accurate trade that […]

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1896_telephone

Phone Calls Can Get You Caught Insider Trading

The insider trading prosecution of Raj Rajaratnam was centered around phone calls. Prosecutors were able to get a recording of those calls. Can you get a conviction merely by tying phone calls to trades, without knowing the content of the calls? The Securities and Exchange Commission is hoping that old-fashioned phone call logs will be […]

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insider trading plane

Airport Use as Illegal Inside Information

I’m a bit confused by the big story in Bloomberg about David Slaine, a key informant for the recent crackdown on insider trading. It starts off with Slaine trying to claim that a money manager was illegally using airplane flight information into Teterboro Airport to profit on stocks. The claim was that his tipsters would […]

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