A district court has denied Charles and Samuel and Wyly’s motion to dismiss the SEC lawsuit accusing them of insider trading and running a 13-year securities fraud that generated $550 million in undisclosed gains. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin says that the SEC did an adequate job of alleging the Texas billionaire brothers’ liability for fraud. She also said the federal agency adequately pled the concealment of sales in Michaels Stores Inc, Sterling Software, Scottish Annuity & Life Holdings Ltd., and Sterling Commerce Inc.
Last year, the SEC accused the brothers of setting up sham offshore trusts in the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man to hide 13 years of stock sales, valued at over $750 million, in four companies that they founded.
The allegations were made following a six-year investigation. The SEC contends that with their improper gains, the brothers were able to acquire almost $100 million of real estate, purchase tens of millions of dollars in jewelry, art, and collectibles, and donate a great deal of money to charity. The agency also claims that the brothers either knew or were reckless if they didn’t know what their legal obligations were as public company owners directors and beneficial owners who owned more than 5%. Under the law, such persons have to report trading and holdings in their companies securities on Form 4 and Schedule 13D to the SEC. The SEC says that the brothers either knew or should have known that such disclosures are used by the investing public to get a sense of how a public company’s shareholders and insiders feel about prospects and financial conditions and that they depend on these disclosures to make investment decisions.
Judge Scheindlin also said that the SEC can pursue a claim accusing Dallas-based brothers of making $31.7 million from the alleged insider trading that they engaged in after they decided to sell Sterling Software in 1999.
Related Web Resources:
Billionaire Wyly Brothers Lose an Effort to Dismiss Insider-Trading Charges, NY Times, April 1, 2011
Wyly brothers lose bid to dismiss SEC fraud suit, Reuters, March 31, 2011
SEC Charges Corporate Insider Brothers With Fraud, SEC, July 29, 2010
Billionaire Brothers Samuel and Charles Wyly Charged With $550 Million Fraud, Daily Finance, July 30, 2010
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