SEC Targets Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped up its probes into insider trading as it examines links between brokerages and hedge funds.

Opportunities for insider trades abound as mergers increase and hedge funds operate with fewer regulations, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

In one two-week period in September, the SEC requested information from 10 brokerage firms.

Linda Thomsen, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, told the newspaper that insider trading is a top priority for the agency. Bruce Karpati, an assistant regional director in the SEC’s New York office, said the commission is studying the flow of information and looking at “more complex trading strategies at hedge funds using more complicated financial instruments.”

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