Mark Cuban publicly challenges SEC in media blitz

The billionaire believes a former SEC head “had no idea what she was doing”

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Mark Cuban already won one major victory against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in late 2013 when a district court ruled that he was not guilty of accusations of insider trading with Mamma.com stock. That ruling may have gotten the SEC off of Cuban’s back, but unfortunately for the Commission, the billionaire isn’t done fighting yet.

Mark Cuban has undertaken a media blitz over the past week, attempting to get an audience before SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, hoping to explain his displeasure with the SEC’s enforcement policies. Cuban believes that he was unfairly targeted for insider trading because of his celebrity status, and he believes that the SEC has not found the correct balance in how to truly regulate the market.

“I’d like to just sit down with her,” Cuban told The Washington Post. “They are trying to make the markets fair, but they just don’t know how to get there.”

After his not guilty verdict, Cuban has publicly stated that he believes the SEC ate up unnecessary funds and time fighting the case. He said the SEC lied in its charges, and in an interview with USA Today, Cuban said that former SEC Head of Enforcement Linda Thomsen, “had no idea what she was doing. She was looking for a name to prosecute and I was the name she came upon.”

Cuban has also taken to social media to voice his displeasure. In response to one case that pits the SEC against a small business owner, Cuban tweeted, “Anyone have any legal insights into this case? Is the sec [sic] doing the right thing or being abusive?” He later retweeted a follower that said that Cuban’s case “shows SEC is a comic strip of lawyers hellbent on furthering their own careers. Not funny.”

The SEC has not commented publicly on the Cuban case since directly after its close, when it called Cuban’s remarks “without merit and uncalled for.” But the Commission did announce in early October that it was taking an aggressive new stance that was designed to scare off violators of SEC regulations. SEC Co-Chief Andrew Ceresney said upon his induction into the position that “[m]onetary penalties speak very loudly and in a language any potential defendant understands.”

 

For more on the SEC and its enforcement policies, check out these InsideCounsel stories:

Securities litigation: What is the fuss about fraud on the market?

SEC sees an increase in whistleblower activity

Compliance: Rule 506 “bad actor” disqualifications

Dodd-Frank derivatives regulations face delays

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