Category: Insider Trading

Insider Trading: Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information. Any and all persons that buy and sell stock may be subject to insider trading liability. This blog sets forth a particular hypothetical fact scenario and analyzes the associated insider trading implications…

Oct072014

Insider Trading- A Case Study

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information.  Any and all persons that buy and sell stock may be subject to insider trading liability.  This blog sets forth a particular hypothetical fact scenario and analyzes the associated insider trading implications.

Hypothetical Fact Pattern:  Company X (the “Company”) sells shares to a group of 35 unaffiliated shareholders pursuant to an effective S-1 registration statement.  These same 35 unaffiliated shareholders (the “Sellers”) sell their registered stock to a group of 35 unaffiliated purchasers (the Buyers”) in a private transaction (the “Transaction”).  At or near the same time as the Transaction, the control block

Sep152014

SEC Files Dozens of Charges for Violations of the Section 16 and Section 13 Corporate Insider Reporting Requirements

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Introduction

On September 10, 2014, the SEC filed 28 separate actions against officers, directors and major shareholders and an additional 6 actions against reporting companies, all stemming from violations of the reporting requirements contained in Sections 13 and 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”).  The SEC announced that it had created a task force to investigate violations using quantitative data sources and ranking algorithms to identify repetitive late filers.  The SEC settled with all but one of the charged for a total of $2.6 million in penalties.

The actions against insiders and major shareholders were based on direct violations of their individual reporting requirements.  The actions against reporting companies were for “contributing to” the violations.  In these cases, the companies had contractually agreed to take on the responsibility of making the filings for their insiders, and had been delinquent in doing so.

Historically the SEC has rarely

Jun302014

Section 16 Insider Reporting and Potential Liability for Short-Swing Trading Practices

A public company with a class of securities registered under Section 12 or which is subject to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) must file reports with the SEC (“Reporting Requirements”).  The required reports include an annual Form 10-K, quarterly Form 10Q’s and current periodic Form 8-K as well as proxy reports and certain shareholder and affiliate reporting requirements.

Last week, I wrote about the “certain shareholder” filing requirements under Sections 13d and 13g of the Exchange Act, Regulation 13D-G beneficial ownership reporting and related Schedules 13D and 13G.  This blog is a summary of the “certain shareholder and affiliate” reporting and related requirements under Section 16 of the Exchange Act.  In particular, all directors, executive officers and 10% stockholders (“Insiders”) of reporting companies are subject to the reporting and insider trading provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act.  At the end of the blog is a reference chart related to the

Nov232009

10b5-1 Trading Plans and Material Non-Public Information

As a safe harbor from insider trading liability, Rule 10b5-1 provides that a purchase or sale of securities will not be deemed to be on the basis of material nonpublic information if it is pursuant to a contract, instruction or plan that (i) was entered into before the person became aware of the information; (ii) specifies the amounts, prices, and dates for transactions under the plan (or includes a formula for determining them); and (iii) does not later allow the person to influence how, when or whether transactions will occur.

Good Faith Practices When Establishing Trading Plans

In addition, the plan must be entered into in good faith and not as part of a scheme to evade the insider trading laws. Particular care should be taken to avoid adopting or amending trading plans when in possession of material nonpublic information. On June 4, 2009, The SEC filed an insider trading complaint against Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of Countrywide Financial

Oct302009

Securities Attorneys Must Self-Regulate to Avoid Potential Insider Trading Pitfalls

Attorneys who accept stock as compensation from public companies need to be aware of a vigilant regarding their insider trading obligations. Before analyzing the dynamics of proper compliance in stock compensation scenarios, it is assumed that the stock received by the attorney was issued pursuant to a registration statement or valid exemption and is being resold also pursuant to a registration statement or valid exemption to registration.

Insider Trading

Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information. Securities attorneys are in a unique position as they are often privy to material, non-public information regarding their public company clients.

The SEC prohibits insider trading in Rules 10b-5, 10b5-1 and 10b5-2 or