Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank panelist Mark Cuban is back in court this week to defend himself against a federal insider-trading lawsuit that has spanned nearly a decade. The Securities and Exchange Commission claims Cuban “broke a promise of confidentiality and traded on private information that gave him an advantage over other investors” when he sold his stock in the Internet search company Mamma.com in 2004, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
At the center of the investigation is a phone call between Cuban and Mamma’s CEO, who mentioned an upcoming private offering that was likely to dilute the company’s stock value, prompting Cuban to dump his shares. The SEC claims both parties had agreed to keep the conversation confidential, which would have barred the Mavs owner from unloading his stock until the news went public. Cuban, who was the company’s largest shareholder at the time, claims he never agreed to confidentiality.
The Bottom Line: The SEC hopes to reclaim about $750,000 in losses that Cuban dodged by bailing out early, plus an additional fine, according to the Star-Telegram. There are no criminal charges involved in the trial, which will resume on Monday.