Last week, the House passed the “Insider Trading Prohibition Act” by a vote of 410-13. John wrote about the bill back in June when it passed out of the House Financial Services Committee – it would broadly describe “wrongful” trading or communication of material non-public information by tying it to:
(A) theft, bribery, misrepresentation, or espionage (through electronic or other means);
(B) a violation of any Federal law protecting computer data or the intellectual property or privacy of computer users;
(C) conversion, misappropriation, or other unauthorized and deceptive taking of such information; or
(D) a breach of any fiduciary duty, a breach of a confidentiality agreement, a breach of contract, or a breach of any other personal or other relationship of trust and confidence.
The legislation would also require only that a defendant was aware or recklessly disregarded that the inside information was wrongfully obtained – rather than specific knowledge of how it was obtained or whether there was a “personal benefit” involved. It also leaves open the possibility that 10b5-1 transactions could be exempt from insider trading prosecution. Mostly, though, it pretty closely tracks current case law.
So what are the odds that this bill will become law? It appears to have “bipartisan” support – but it’s also been floating around in some form since 2015 and hasn’t made it to the finish line yet. The repetition certainly makes it easier to come up with headlines.
-Liz Dunshee, TheCorporateCounsel.net December 10, 2019