Mark Cuban Cleared Of Insider Trading Charges, Slams SEC From Courthouse Steps
Mark Cuban may have walked out of court a winner, but he’s still taking the Security and Exchange Commission’s charges against him personally. He blasted the federal agency in an interview on the courthouse steps, following his high-profile win over federal insider-trading charges Wednesday.
It’s personal,” Cuban said. “When you put someone on the stand and accuse them of being a liar, it’s personal.”
The SEC charged the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks engaged in insider trading when he sold his 6.3-percent stake in Canada’s Mamma.com in 2004. According to the agency, Cuban illegally sold his shares after Mamma.com chief Guy Faure confidentially told him the company planned a private offering of its stock, which would dilute shareholders’ holdings and hurt the stock’s price. According to Faure—who did not appear in court but instead left a video message to jurors—Cuban acknowledged the confidentiality and was discouraged he would not be able to sell his shares. Within days Cuban sold his stake in the company—a move that would ultimately spare him from a $750,000 loss.
Cuban countered, however, that he never agreed to keep the information confidential, and he sold the stock for a variety of reasons, including the company’s ties with a stock swindler. His defense team also contended that the information conveyed by Faure had, at that point, gone public, as the company presented the idea to private investors.
“This case should have never been brought to trial,” Cuban’s defense lawyer Stephen Best said after the verdict on in federal court in Dallas.
Cuban couldn’t agree more. He told reporters that the SEC had tried to bully him into settlement, an act that would have cost him less money than he paid his legal team to fight the charges.
“They regulate through litigation,” he said.
I won’t be bullied, I don’t care if it’s the United States government,” Cuban added. “Part of my hope is this will go on record so when someone else is on the stand, they will know what to expect.”
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