Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Insider Trading - UNITED STATES v. NEWMAN

The 2d Circuit - in a criminal prosecution for insider trading tips - has held that the Government failed to present sufficient evidence that either corporate tipper received a "personal benefit" to trigger a breach of a fiduciary duty. The Court explained that the Government must prove a "meaningfully close personal relationship that generates an exchange that is objective, consequential, and represents at least a potential gain of a pecuniary or similarly valuable nature." - gwc


"We agree that the jury instruction was erroneous because we conclude that, in order to sustain a conviction for insider trading, the Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the tippee knew that an insider disclosed confidential information and that he did so in exchange for a personal benefit. Moreover, we hold that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a guilty verdict against Newman and Chiasson for two reasons.

 First, the Government's evidence of any personal benefit received by the alleged insiders was insufficient to establish the tipper liability from which defendants' purported tippee liability would derive. Second, even assuming that the scant evidence offered on the issue of personal benefit was sufficient, which we conclude it was not, the Government presented no evidence that Newman and Chiasson knew that they were trading on information obtained from insiders in violation of those insiders' fiduciary duties.

 Accordingly, we reverse the convictions of Newman and Chiasson on all counts and remand with instructions to dismiss the indictment as it pertains to them with prejudice."

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