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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban loses bid to end insider-trading suit

March 05, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, known for aggressively sparring with referees during Mavericks games, had requested a dismissal of the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that was originally filed in 2008.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, known for aggressively sparring with… (Derick E. Hingle / US Presswire )

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, lost a bid to end a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accusing him of insider trading.

The commission alleges that in 2004, Cuban sold his stake in the search company Mamma.com after hearing of a business strategy he disapproved of from then-Chief Executive Guy Faure.

That information, which involved the company's plans to sell stock in a private offering at below-market prices, prompted Cuban to sell his 6.3% stake for $7.9 million, the lawsuit alleged. Cuban managed to avoid a probable loss, since Mamma shares plunged after the news was announced publicly.

Cuban, known for aggressively sparring with referees during Mavericks games, argued before the U.S. District Court in Dallas that the regulator failed to prove his conversation with Faure was confidential. He requested the court dismiss the lawsuit that was originally filed in 2008.

After hearing arguments, Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater ruled that "the SEC is entitled to present its case to a jury."

It was the second time the case went before Fitzwater. He had previously thrown out the suit in 2009. A federal appeals court ultimately reversed the decision and sent it back to him.

In his decision, the judge said the case "is in some respects a close one."

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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