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Intuit insider trading charges settled

The wife of Intuit's CFO and five others have agreed to pay penalties on SEC charges of insider trading, but without admitting guilt.

Six people accused of insider trading in conjunction with Microsoft's failed 1994 bid to acquire Intuit have agreed to pay a total of $472,342 to satisfy a Security and Exchange Commission complaint, the San Jose Mercury News reported today.

The civil lawsuit brought by the SEC charged that Kathleen Lane, wife of Intuit CFO William Lane, learned of the impending merger from her husband and passed the information along to her children, James and Julie Propp. The Propps allegedly told three others. The three others, as well as James Propp, were charged with using the information to buy Intuit stock and options before the deal was announced in October of 1994. Lane and her daughter were not charged with buying the securities, but with passing the information on to others.

The six defendants agreed to the settlement without admitting or denying the charges. Federal officials maintain that William Lane was not involved in the scheme and had no knowledge of his wife's actions.

The SEC also accused Julie Propp of lending a friend money to buy Intuit stock, and accused Kathleen Lane of alerting the others to unload their stock when the Microsoft deal soured, according to the report.

Microsoft abandoned its attempt to acquire Intuit in May of 1995 after the Justice Department filed suit to block the deal on the grounds that it would violate antitrust laws by decreasing competition in the personal-finance software market.