SEC v. Cuban Craziness Already in Full Swing

Well, that didn’t take long.  In the four hours since the SEC filed its lawsuit against Mark Cuban for insider trading, we have seen Mr. Cuban and his counsel issue a statement claiming that:

  • The SEC’s case “has no merit and is a product of gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”
  • Mr. Cuban intends to demonstrate that the Commission’s claims are “infected by the misconduct of the staff of its Enforcement Division.”
  • The SEC’s case is based upon “its Enforcement staff’s win-at-any-cost ambitions, … facts be damned. The government’s claims are false and they will be proven to be so.”

That was a good start, and was followed an hour or so later by a report in Dealbook that the misconduct allueded to above relates to an SEC employee who “sent Mr. Cuban e-mails several times over the past year or so, accusing him of being unpatriotic.  The bone of contention was Mr. Cuban’s involvement with “Loose Change,” a documentary that accuses the Bush administration of engineering the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a pretext for the Iraq war.”

One of the purported emails in question is pasted below courtesy of Dealbook. The SEC reportedly told Dealbook that the sender of the email worked out of a regional office, had no role in or knowledge of the investigation, and was “referred for disciplinary action.”

So buckle up — we’re four hours into this case and we already have a year’s worth of action.  The email is below:

From: Norris, Jeffrey B.
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2007 2:27 PM
To: Mark Cuban
Cc: Cox, Christopher

Subject: RE: “Lose Change”

I AM SHARING THIS WITH CHAIRMAN COX. NEITHER HE NOR THE COMMISSION ENDORSE MY OPINIONS, BUT IN LIGHT OF YOUR THREAT, I THOUGHT SHOULD SEND THIS TO HIM.

Mark:

If this upsets you, I wonder how George Bush feels. I assume that Mr. Cox would view your involvement with “Loose Change” much as I do. After all, he served his country as a Republican Congressman from Orange County for nearly 20 years and was appointed by President Bush. If you feel like sharing my thoughts with Chairman Cox, be my guest.

Previously, I thought you were merely foolish and naïve. Now, however, I see that you are also a hypocrite. I guess your belief in free speech has severe limitations. If someone else is the victim of an absurd conspiracy theory, you defend your right to participate in smearing the good name of of a patriot like President Bush. But, when you are the subject of a parody of the attack you have endorsed, you suddenly issue threats.

I think I will e-mail this to Chairman Cox myself. I think he will enjoy it. I’m sure he is also a Laker fan.

Since Chairman Cox may not know the background, I will explain. Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and has participated in distributing the vicious and absurd documentary, “Loose Change,” which posits that President Bush planned the demolition of the World Trade Center as a pretext for going to war against Iraq. We have had some past exchanges about my opinion the Mr. Cuban’s support for this project is irresponsible and immoral. Below, I parodied his position that every opinion, no matter how absurd and vicious, deserves to be broadly disseminated.

Read the Dealbook article