Insider Trading: 2009 Review

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By any measure, 2009 was a big year for insider trading. News of large insider trading rings involving high-profile individuals and millions of dollars dominated the headlines. A simple Google search for “insider trading” and “2009” generates more than 2.2 million hits. The same search for “2008” returns nearly a million fewer hits. Not since the Ivan Boesky-related scandals of the 1980s has insider trading commanded as much attention. And just in time, Gordon Gekko is back in Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street.

Despite the renewed attention, insider trading—trading while in possession of material nonpublic information in breach of a duty—is not a new crime. Information has always been and remains a precious commodity on Wall Street and on Main Street. But 2009 saw some new twists on the old theme: wiretaps, credit default swaps, hedge funds, SEC cooperation agreements, and rapid fire subpoenas were just a few of the somewhat novel aspects of insider trading cases in 2009.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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