Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought five insider-trading cases against a slew of individuals. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also announced parallel criminal charges against the defendants in four of the five cases. These cases contain examples of the classical theory and the misappropriation theory of insider trading.
These cases were the result of close coordination with the SDNY and SEC, and they appear to be the result of an enforcement sweep. Increasingly sophisticated data analytics and market surveillance make it highly likely that those who wish to exploit material nonpublic information will be caught, with severe consequences, including disgorgement, criminal restitution, civil penalties, and incarceration.