Mark Cuban wins insider trading case brought by SEC

After being accused of selling his stake in Mamma.com based on confidential information, the billionaire investor is cleared of the government's charges.

Mark Cuban at CNET's Next Big Thing panel at CES 2013. Josh Miller/CNET

A federal jury found on Wednesday that billionaire Mark Cuban did not partake in insider trading -- putting an end to a 5-year-old lawsuit filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"I am glad this happened to me," Cuban told The Wall Street Journal. "I am glad I am wealthy enough to stand up to the SEC."

The SEC filed the suit in 2008 against Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and former Yahoo and Broadcast.com executive, for allegedly relying on confidential information when he sold his stake in search engine Mamma.com in 2004. The SEC claimed Cuban sold his stake after learning the company was about to issue new shares in a private offering, news that often leads to stock prices plummeting.

Throughout the suit Cuban maintained that he had done nothing wrong and refused to settle. At one point he said, "The government's claims are false and they will be proven to be so."

In March of this year, the judge presiding over the case denied Cuban's request to dismiss the suit and scheduled the trial for June. If the jury had decided in favor of the SEC, Cuban would have been fined several million dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal.

For its part, the SEC says that the outcome of this case won't stop it from going after alleged insider traders.

"We respect the jury's decision," SEC spokesman John Nester told CNET. "While the verdict in this particular case is not the one we sought, it will not deter us from bringing and trying cases where we believe defendants have violated the federal securities laws. "

CNET has contact Cuban for comment. We'll update this story when we get more information.

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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