If you are acting as a director or sitting on the board for your company, you are accustomed to long task lists and high-pressure situations. Leaders understand that they are responsible for the success of the business. That means unsolvable problems, big and small, inevitably make their way to your desk. While you are focused on growing your company or maintaining its success, you are also expected to adhere strictly to an expansive legal code of ethics. Organizations like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) routinely review the practices of directors and board members. They might even bring charges of insider trading against you or another leader in your business: another seemingly unsolvable problem.
Insider trading allegations can be time-consuming and stressful. Handling the SEC and making your case can take away valuable hours you could be spending on your business responsibilities. As the insider trading attorneys at Williams Hart can attest, many company leaders have watched their businesses suffer while they were tied up in a court case. The personal stress of these allegations makes matters even worse. If you are facing the accusation of insider trading, you should secure the services of an experienced legal team. An attorney’s help can give you peace of mind and allow you to get back to your real job: managing your business.
It is a good general rule to find high-quality legal help when you are coping with insider trading charges. The SEC and the FBI ferociously pursue these cases, and if you are found guilty, you can face serious sanctions—even time in prison.
There are serious criminal and civil penalties associated with insider trading. If you cannot beat the charges brought against you, you could face:
Any one of these penalties can seriously affect your life. It can be almost impossible to regain your standing in the business world while coping with the fallout of a “guilty” verdict for insider trading.
Non-insiders are any members of the public who do not have access to and are not aware of insider information. Non-insiders can be individuals who have worked for the company or in affiliation with the company in a position that would not give them access to any pertinent company information, such as a vendor, custodian, or building owner. Contrarily, quasi-insiders are any individuals who have worked in affiliation with a company in a position that would allow them to know important and confidential company information, such as a company attorney or accountant. Quasi-insiders have a duty to keep company information confidential.
Inside information is important confidential company information, either positive or negative, that could have an impact on a company’s stock value or the price of a security. Inside information has not yet been made available to the public. Information is considered public when it has been announced and spread through the marketplace to investors. A tangible release of the information is the best way to be sure that it will be considered public. If the information has been published in a news outlet and has had ample time to spread widely, it will most likely be considered public information.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it is legal for a company executive, or any company insider, to buy stock in their own company if they perform the trade based on public information and are not aware of any insider information that would sway the trade. When a company insider purchases or sells company stock, they must report the trade to the SEC.
Challenging insider trading charges requires the knowledge and experience of skilled attorneys. The insider trading attorneys at Williams Hart are dedicated and accomplished. We complement our legal ability with the firm belief that you deserve loyal, focused legal representation as you handle these charges. Contact us at (713) 230-2200 to learn more about how we can help you fight these allegations and get back to your leadership role.