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Federal jury speaks in Cuban securities fraud case: not liable

The jury has spoken in the insider trading case involving billionaire business owner and investor Mark Cuban, and Cuban was elated by what he heard.

A spokesperson for the Securities Exchange Commission, which commenced the civil litigation against Cuban several years ago, expressed different sentiments.

SEC official John Nestor noted the agency's disappointment, but stated the Cuban's vindication would not stop the market watchdog "from bringing and trying cases where we believe defendants have violated the federal securities laws."

That is precisely what the SEC alleged Cuban to have done. We noted the details of the white collar fraud case involving Cuban -- the owner of a professional basketball team and various other businesses, as well as a media presence and author -- in our October 9, 2013, blog post. Cuban was alleged to have dumped his entire ownership in a start-up Canadian software company after he received adverse confidential information.

A federal jury in Dallas found Cuban not liable last week of the charges facing him. Cuban acknowledged during the trial that, although he was barred from passing along information he confidentially received relating to a company stock sale, there was no such ban against him from selling his ownership stake in the enterprise. The jury was apparently influenced by the argument that relevant information about the company that Cuban acted upon was fully in the public domain at the time he sold his shares.

The litigation had a long and convoluted course leading up to the jury verdict last week. More than four years ago, the same judge who presided over the trial granted a motion from Cuban to dismiss the case. It was subsequently reinstated by an appeals court.

Source: CNN, "Jury rules for Mark Cuban in insider case," Chris Isidore and Gregory Wallace, Oct. 16, 2013

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