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No federal statute defines “insider trading.” Instead, the common law crime of securities “insider trading” has evolved from a convoluted collection of fact-specific court decisions, leaving significant uncertainty regarding the line between permissible and prohibited conduct across the constantly developing contexts to which the doctrine has been applied. Insider trading generally encompasses corporate insiders, or those who receive information from corporate insiders, trading securities on material non-public information. Historically, prosecutors have most often brought insider trading cases under §10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act. Increasingly, however, insider trading also is charged under the broader, more general fraud statutes contained in Title 18. Now, prosecutors have undertaken a further evolutionary step: the application of “insider trading” theories in cases that do not necessarily involve securities.
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By Harry Sandick, Anna Blum and Abigail Marion
The Second Circuit's long-anticipated decision in United States v. Blaszczak limits the government’s ability to bring fraud or insider trading prosecutions where the information used to achieve an advantage is regulatory information held by the government. It also brings the Second Circuit in greater alignment with the Supreme Court’s wire fraud jurisprudence.
By Andrey Spektor and Laura S. Perlov
If you use Whatsapp or similar platforms for work-related communications, then you’ve probably heard that regulators are putting an end to that practice. Ephemeral and encrypted messaging, they have noted, evades monitoring and prevents retention. A seldom used doctrine allows prosecutors to charge executives with misdemeanor offenses just for being in the position of power when others commit the misconduct. Rather than take a wait-and-see approach, companies and their leaders would do well to prepare for prosecutors to reach deep into their toolbox.
By Evan T. Barr
Ever since the Honeycutt ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 that co-conspirators convicted of federal narcotics violations could not be held jointly and severally liable, courts have grappled with whether it also applied outside the narcotics context, to forfeiture judgments imposed in white-collar cases.
By Maria Dinzeo
General counsel may find themselves pulled into difficult conversations with top executives as the Securities and Exchange Commission tightens its rules on company insiders looking to dump their stock.