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The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York last fall described insider trading on Wall Street as “rampant and [perhaps] on the rise,” and more recently, announced that his office is “far from finished” with its ongoing investigation into alleged illicit interrelationships between so-called “expert network” referral companies and hedge funds. Quietly, however, at least one of the government’s charging decisions—to charge three company insider “experts” in United States v. Walter Shimoon, et al. with wire fraud, but not securities fraud1—may signal that the government believes it faces a more complex legal landscape than first meets the eye. Specifically, by charging experts this way in Shimoon, the government apparently plans to avoid having to prove the “materiality” of the shared inside information under the securities laws.

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