The Securities and Exchanges Commission charged Dallas Mavericks owner and former Dancing with the Starscontestant Mark Cuban with insider trading after he allegedly used confidential information to avoid more than $750,000 in losses.
In a civil lawsuit filed in a Dallas federal court, the SEC alleged that in June 2004, Cuban was given confidential information about a coming stock offering by Mamma.com Inc., according to The Associated Press. The SEC claims that because Cuban knew the shares would be sold below market price, he sold all of 600,000 of his shares before the public announcement of the offering, avoiding a loss of $750,000.
The SEC seeks a ruling against Cuban's violation of the antifraud provisions of federal securities laws, a civil penalty and restitution of the losses Cuban allegedly avoided. Cuban, a multibillionaire who sold his Broadcast.com to Yahoo in 1999 during the dot-com boom, disputed the allegations and said he would contest them.
"I am disappointed that the (SEC) chose to bring this case based upon its enforcement staff's win-at-any-cost ambitions," he said in a statement. "The staff's process was result-oriented, facts be damned. The government's claims are false and they will be proven to be so."
The fiery owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and competitor during Dancing with the Stars' is well known for his court-side outbursts against officials and reporters, and the NBA has fined him more than $1 million and suspended for several games. In March 2007, Forbes pegged Cuban's worth at $2.3 billion and named him one of the richest people in the world.