Mark Cuban cleared of insider trading accusations

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been cleared of any wrongdoing Wednesday by a federal jury in an insider trading case after he sold his shares in an Internet startup.

Cuban has been involved in the case for more than five years.

The New York Times has the details:

After just four hours of deliberation, a nine-person jury concluded that Mr. Cuban was not liable under federal securities laws, capping a more than two-week civil trial for one of the few celebrities to land on the S.E.C.'s radar. The 55-year-old reality TV personality, best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, was facing a roughly $2 million fine.

With a net worth pegged at $2.5 billion, and a track record for paying millions of dollars in fines for his courtside antics and tirades against N.B.A. referees, Mr. Cuban's battle was not about the money. Instead, he fought the case to clear his name and humble an agency that accused him of trading on confidential information when dumping his stake in an Internet company.

The S.E.C.'s case stems from Mr. Cuban's decision in June 2004 to dump his stake in the search engine Mamma.com. He did so after learning from Mamma.com's chief executive that the company was planning a private offering of its stock — a deal likely to hurt the stock price and dilute the holdings of existing shareholders like Mr. Cuban.

In the video above via David Schechter of WFAA in Dallas, a clearly agitated Cuban sounded off about the case, blasting the S.E.C., saying "They regulate through litigation, and that's its own problem."

 
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