WHAT’S SO WRONG ABOUT INSIDER TRADING?
On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in federal crimes on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
Many of us have come to hear about the crime of insider trading through news stories about individuals like the home design guru Martha Stewart. While many individuals may have a general idea as to what insider trading is from hearing stories about people like her, most people only understand one aspect of what this crime is. The list of actions that may be considered insider trading is far more expansive than you may expect it to be.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) refers to insider trading as buying or selling a security. If someone breaches their fiduciary duty to another after coming to know nonpublic information about it, then they may have committed a crime. This offense essentially amounts to one person with insider knowledge about security tipping another individual off about needing to trade it.
SEC officials have filed many different insider trading cases in recent years for a variety of reasons.
In one instance, a group of affiliated individuals including friends, family members and business associates all traded their securities after being tipped off by insiders that it was conducive for them to do so. In another instance, employees and board of directors who owned corporate securities were motivated to trade their holdings after learning of a confidential change in the company’s status.
There have been cases that the SEC has investigated that have involved political intelligence officials or government employees learning classified or proprietary information during their employment. The individuals who have gotten their hands on this information have used it to their advantage when deciding whether to trade securities. This type of activity may also be considered insider trading.
The SEC argues that individuals who engage in insider trading undermine the integrity and fairness of the securities industry. The federal agency argues that by doing away with insider trading, it restores investors’ confidence in the market.
Federal officials often spend significant time and financial resources investigating individuals before charging them with a crime. Prosecutors do this because they want to make sure that they have every opportunity of securing a conviction in any case that they file against a defendant. This is why you must consult with an attorney if you’ve been charged with insider trading. Your New York lawyer can help you devise a defense strategy in your case.