As reported several different places, billionaire Mark Cuban was charged with insider trading today for selling 600,000 shares of Mamma.com more than four years ago. Understandably, Cuban is contesting the charges (click the links above for details).
The SEC is stating that the sale allowed Cuban to avoid around $750,000 in losses. I find it rather amusing that they no doubt feel the avoided loss will strengthen their case. Since the amount is by no means substantial to Cuban, I can't help but wonder if stating this will actually weaken it. To me, it's pretty obvious that the sale was not strictly based on trying to save a few hundred thousand dollars.
I wish Mark all the best, but I suspect everything will turn out alright for him. The SEC is notorious for doing a consistently terrible job, and besides, Mark appears far too innocent for this to go anywhere. I've seen shows on CNBC actually bring up charts detailing insider trading almost in real time, but the SEC rarely does anything. One host even poked fun at the SEC, stating that it was so easy for him to spot but, mysteriously, so difficult for them. Hopefully, this will all blow over soon so they can focus their limited resources elsewhere.