Tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban was found not guilty of insider trading by a Texas jury on Wednesday, a verdict the Dallas Mavericks owner has waited years to hear.
In 2004, Cuban was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of selling his stocks in internet search company Mamma.com after being tipped off by CEO Guy Faure that the company was going private. After this information was supposedly leaked to Cuban, he sold his 600,000 shares for $7.9 million. Once the announcement was made that the company was going private, shares fell by 9.3 percent. By selling before the announcement, Cuban avoided a $750,000 loss.
In 2008, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Cuban but the judge dismissed it in 2009. The next year, an appeals court overturned the judgment.
Cuban has always maintained his innocence, claiming he sold his shares because Mamma.com was dealing with a sheisty stock broker and there were rumors the company was going private. And this is where the SEC and Cuban's story diverges. Cuban admitted he heard information about the company going private, but it came from potential investors, not Faure.
The verdict clearing Cuban of any wrongdoing wasn't enough for the billionaire. The Shark Tank star decided to use this occasion to stand on his soap box and blast the prosecutor in the case, along with the U.S. government.
"Jan Folena, who represents the United States of America, stood up there and lied," Cuban told reporters outside the court. He continued, "I'm the luckiest guy in the world and I'm glad I could stand up to them."
- Company Legal & Law Matters