Category: Insider Trading

Love For Your Mother Can Be Insider Trading

Lawrencia Afriyie took some risky bets in the market. She bought out-of-the-money options, but made $1.5 million in profits. It just so happens that her son, John, worked for for an investment firm that had material non-public information on the target of those options. According to the SEC complaint, John Afriyie worked at an investment

The SEC’s Insider Trading Case Falls Further Apart

Five years ago, the SEC came crashing into the offices of Level Global Investors accusing it of engaging in illegal insider trading. The firm agreed to pay $21.5 million in settlement money to resolve that insider trading investigation. Now it wants its money money back. When it comes to insider trading, it’s not the firm

When a Compliance Officer Breaks Bad

There has been considerable discussion in the compliance community around the Securities and Exchange Commission bringing charges against compliance officers. There are three areas that the SEC feels it is justified in bringing charges: (1) when the compliance officer is involved in the wrongdoing; (2) when the compliance officer impedes the examination or investigation; and

Outside Trading Defendants Settle

A month ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against a large network of traders who made a big pile of money by hacking into corporate press release websites and trading on the news before it was made public. Two traders, who made $25 million in the scheme, settled the charges against them and

What’s in your Wallet? Insider Trading

It’s clearly insider when a company’s high-level executive trades on pending earnings data not yet released to the public. It’s clearly not insider trading when you count cars in a retailer’s parking lot to get insight to sales. A recent SEC case falls somewhere in the middle. The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against

A Cliche Is Proven

One cliche thrown around is that tipping a golf buddy to material non-public information is an insider trading violation. The Securities and Exchange Commission just filed a case that proved that cliche true. Eric McPhail learned the expected earnings and major pending corporate developments at American Superconductor through a friend who is (was?) an executive

Cleaning Up An Oil Spill Is Insider Trading

Keith A. Seilhan was 20-year employee of BP and a senior responder during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Seilhan directed BP’s oil skimming operations and its efforts to contain the expansion of the oil spill. What he saw scared him so he sold his entire portfolio of BP stock. The Securities and Exchange Commission

Do Law Firms Need Compliance Programs? Part 2

Earlier this month it was accounting fraud. This week it’s insider trading. Law firms seem to pose the same risks as any other firm. Do as I say; Not as I do. A clerk at a law firm trolled the document management system for information on mergers when the firm was representing one of the

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