The breaking news is that the SEC is charging Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, with insider trading related to sales of shares in Mamma.com, Inc., now Copernic, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNIC). The entrepreneur billionaire allegedly dumped 600,000 shares in the Internet search engine company when he found out it was raising money by selling shares in a private offering. This information was not publicly known.
The SEC filed its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, saying that in June, 2004, Cuban was invited to participate in the stock offering after he agreed to keep the information confidential. Knowing the offering would be conducted at a discount, Cuban then sold his entire 6% ownership within a few hours after he learned about it. When the financing was announced the next day, the company's shares dropped more than 10% due to dilution concerns. Cuban thus avoided more than $750,000 in losses.
If these allegations are true, this is a classic case of insider trading. The public had no way of knowing the stock price would drop, while Cuban and other insiders did. The SEC release didn't mention what other insiders did, but it seems, for now at least, that only Cuban acted on the information.
I've had about all the news of corruption I can take. Of course, I don't mean to sound accusatory, or find Mark Cuban guilty before he has been properly tried, but it's just the timing of it. When the world is swirling into a global recession based on greed, and probably at least a little bit of corruption, these news items are definitely ones I can do without.