The SEC and DOJ rarely bring cases involving insiders who trade on non-public information they have deduced, but Ying’s case demonstrates that the reach of insider trading laws are broader than what might be intuitive. There is also an important lesson for employers. Companies limit information internally for all sorts of reasons, such as containing reputational damage—but one reason is to avoid exposing employees to potential accusations of insider trading or tipping. It is entirely possible that Equifax was motivated, at least in part, to not fully inform Ying in order to protect him. Unfortunately for all involved, their information shield was insufficient to protect a perceptive employee from himself.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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