A reader at Cafepharma asked another question — my answer is apparently caught in the moderation que, at the moment, over there, so here it is:
when will the criminal case start on insider trading –
c) Already settled
your answer ??
“I doubt it is settled already — that would require a public SEC filing, a report — and we haven’t seen any.
As to the individual officers/directors, I think proving a criminal (as opposed to civil) insider trading case — at least, on the facts as we now know/understand them — would be a tall order. I think to prove that crime, one would need to show far more than just “access” to the ENHANCE data, by those who traded prior to disclosure — while in a purely civil case, this “access”, plus the top-of-market prices, might be enough to convince a court to impose a civil penalty — or at least, to extract a civil charge settlement in deferred prosecution/negotiations with the SEC, directly, in the weeks leading up to a trial, at some 2009 date.
It is quite difficult to say, as it is all very early in the process of finding out what evidence exists, beyond what is already known by the public.
I think it would be similarly difficult (based on the public documents, thus far) to prove that the “enterprise” conspired to conduct the August 2007 $3.8 billion offerings with specific intent to defraud. That does not mean it did not happen. It just means it would be very difficult to prove. Your mileage may vary. . . .“
We may learn much more in the coming months that will render this polly-anna-ish and out-of-date, but right now, I really can’t see the SEC
filing [sincere thanks go to Anon. No. 2, in the comments hereto, for the suggested edit!] referring a criminal case, to the DoJ, on these facts. Not on what we know thus far.