Today’s Wall Street Journal Law Blog reveals that Dallas Mavericks owner, Landmark Theaters owner and Chairman of HDNet Mark Cuban has gone on the offensive against the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC made widely publicized charges against Mr. Cuban for insider trading in selling shares of Mamma.com, an internet search technology company now known as Copernic, in 2008. Mr. Cuban disputed the charges, and a federal court dismissed the charges last year.
Not satisfied, Mr. Cuban demanded evidence regarding whether the SEC had acted in in bad faith in bringing the charges, and the SEC provided documents to his counsel. Now Mr. Cuban is attempting to force the SEC to turn over still more documents. If the court holds that the SEC acted in bad faith, it could impose sanctions and force the Commission to pay Mr. Cuban’s legal fees.
Christopher Aguilar, former general counsel for a broker-dealer who did work for Mamma.com, has submitted an affidavit stating that Julie Riewe, an SEC attorney, informed him in August 2007 that she would prefer if employees of the broker-dealer did not speak to Mr. Cuban’s attorneys, although Mr. Aguilar “could do what he wanted.” Mr. Aguilar stated that he believed that the statement was an attempt to not make a witness available to the subject or target of an SEC investigation. Mr. Aguilar eventually allowed Mr. Cuban’s counsel to speak with the employee.