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Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Faces Trial for Inside Trading
While the Dallas Mavericks have their opening game in a basketball court a month from now, their owner Mark Cuban will be going on trial for an insider-trading case in a federal court this Monday. The extroverted and somewhat overbearing billionaire will have to weigh his personality in the venture, because commentators say the iffy case may depend on whether he can feign a little humility before the jury.
The case revolves around his choice to dump 600,000 shares in stocks after a phone call with the CEO of Mamma.com, who told him that the Internet-search company he invested in was going to offer a new stock. As he was about to lose $750,000, he said in the phone call “well now I’m screwed. I can’t sell.” But then he went on and sold his stock, unloading the shares just before the company publicly made its stock offering.
Though the case was originally dismissed in 2009 by U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater, that was overturned in an appeal, and brought back to trial.
According to the Huffington Post, James Meyers, a former enforcement attorney for the SEC, said the case is iffy, and that “a lot of it will come down to how Cuban comes across.” He said were he Cuban’s lawyer “I would tell him to come across as humble and affable and not as master of the universe.” But whether a man with an arrogant demeanor can simply “come across as humble” is another matter. This is after all the man who drew $1.5 million in league fines for berating referees.
If Cuban loses, he is expected to pay the $750,000 and also pay a civil penalty. If the SEC loses, it might watch its step making further insider-trading lawsuits, which, after all, are never a sure thing.
(image source, midwestsportsfans.com)