To read the full story on wiretaps’ role in the Galleon case, click here.
Insider trading enforcement came back with a vengeance in 2009. The high-profile Galleon case was just one in a surge of prosecutions reminiscent of the Boesky heyday of the 1980s.
According to a new report from Morrison & Foerster, the SEC filed 35 new insider trading actions in 2009. The Justice Department brought criminal charges against 31 individuals and has indicated there are many open investigations and more charges on the way.
Notably, more than a third of the SEC actions in 2009 involved more than one individual. Insider trading often involves whole networks, and if the Galleon case is any indication, prosecutors are increasingly focusing on multiple parties, rather than just taking down the occasional rogue trader.
Moreover, according to the report, investigators seem to be focusing on previously unregulated activities. SEC v. Rorech was the first action to turn on insider trading involving the now-notorious credit default swaps. Clearly, investigators have turned an eye to these and other slippery derivatives, as well as to the hedge fund market, which played such a pivotal role in the economic meltdown.
As with every prosecution trend, wise corporate counsel must adjust their compliance programs, dusting-off and updating any training related to this hot-button issue.