Insider trading continues to be a high priority area for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement program. The SEC brought 57 insider trading enforcement actions in 2011 and, in 2012, brought 58 insider trading enforcement actions against 131 individuals and entities. Yet despite the SEC’s intense and persistent attention to insider trading enforcement and the headline grabbing nature of the SEC’s enforcement actions, many in the financial and business community remain unfamiliar with the origins and legal basis for the prohibition against insider trading in the United States and the exact conduct that is proscribed. This article will focus on the primary theories of insider trading liability.
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