It might be best to keep business and personal separate, at least for two married couples in California.
The Securities and Exchange Commission settled insider trading charges with two men in unrelated cases Monday for acting on confidential information gleaned from overhearing their wives' business calls.
In one case, the SEC alleges that Tyrone Hawk of Los Gatos, California snooped on work calls made by his wife, a finance manager at Oracle, related to her firm's plan to acquire Acme Packet Inc.
Upon hearing the inside tip, Hawk purchased shares of Acme Packet ahead of the $1.7 billion acquisition that was announced in February 2013. Shares of Acme Packet subsequently spiked 23% on the news, and Hawk made roughly $150,000 in profit, the SEC said.
Hawk agreed to pay more than $300,000 to settle the charges -- without admitting or denying guilt.
In the other case, the SEC said that Ching Hwa Chen of San Jose, California gained illicit profits by trading on information regarding the not-yet-public earnings of his wife's employer, Informatica Corp. During a drive to Reno, Nevada for vacation, Chen overheard his wife's business calls discussing the fact that the the Silicon Valley company would miss its quarterly earnings target.
Despite being told by his wife not to trade Informatica stock under any circumstances, Chen bought positions designed to profit from a fall in share price. When shares of Informatica plunged 27% after the earnings release, Chen saw a windfall of $140,000, the SEC alleges.
Chen agreed to pay $280,000 to settle the charges, and also didn't admit or deny the allegations.
"Spouses and other family members may gain access to highly confidential information about public companies as part of their relationship of trust," said the SEC's Jina L. Choi in a press release Monday . "In those circumstances, family members have a duty to protect and safeguard that information, not to trade on it."
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings caused a stir last year after he revealed that Netflix's monthly online viewing had exceeded one billion hours on his Facebook page instead of a press release or public filing. That raised concerns about whether social media posts were in compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) rules.
But following an investigation prompted by Hastings' post, the SEC has decided it's MOREHibah Yousuf - Apr 2, 2013 4:24 PM ET
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved Nasdaq's plan to pay $62 million to trading firms that incurred losses during Facebook's botched public debut last May.
The four major trading firms -- Knight Capital (KCG), Citadel, Citigroup (C) and UBS (UBS) -- lost a combined $500 million due to technical glitches at the Nasdaq during Facebook's initial public offering.
And while the accommodation plan won't compensate the firms in full, the SEC said it MOREHibah Yousuf - Mar 25, 2013 12:32 PM ET
Zillow's stock fell sharply Tuesday following the disclosure of previous correspondence between the company and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding questions about the company's sales.
Shares of Zillow (Z), the real estate website, dropped as much as 10.2% in early trading, the biggest one-day decline since November, before trimming some of the losses. By the afternoon, Zillow was down about 4%.
The stock first began to fall after some written exchanges from August MOREHibah Yousuf - Oct 2, 2012 1:51 PM ET
Nasdaq can't seem to put the Facebook IPO debacle behind it.
Shortly after the botched IPO, Nasdaq proposed a $40 million settlement to compensate brokers who were affected by trading glitches on Facebook's opening day (May 18).
Nasdaq (NDAQ) upped that figure to $62 million in mid-July, and Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld called it "definitive" during a July 25 conference call with analysts.
Citigroup (C) and UBS (UBS) have come out swinging. In MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 23, 2012 12:33 PM ET
Nasdaq is hopeful that its most recent compensation plan will satisfy the trading firms that incurred losses during Facebook's botched debut May.
During the company's earnings conference call with analysts Wednesday, Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld said its plan is "definitive" and said there haven't been any negative comments about it since Nasdaq boosted the size of the compensation fund to $62 million last week.
"I would definitely highlight the absence of negative comments MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 25, 2012 2:25 PM ET
As it polices the seedy underbelly of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission is taking on financial wrongdoers of all sorts, including the Amish.
The SEC announced a deferred prosecution agreement Wednesday with the Amish Helping Fund, a not-for-profit organization that provides home loans to Amish families in Ohio.
The Amish financiers allegedly misled investors by failing to update the fund's offering memorandum, which was drafted when it was founded by MOREBen Rooney - Jul 18, 2012 1:44 PM ET
A battle is brewing over how the swaps or derivatives market is regulated.
As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission agency was tasked with the job of monitoring the $700 trillion derivatives market. Derivatives are the instruments behind JPMorgan's (JPM) recent loss of at least $2 billion and the trades that helped blow up AIG (AIG), Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.
But CFTC chairman Gary MOREMaureen Farrell - Jun 7, 2012 5:11 PM ET
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