A federal jury in Texas found Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, not guilty of insider trading in a case brought by the SEC related to Cuban’s 2004 sale of stock in an Internet company.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Cuban in 2008, alleging that he sold $7.9 million worth of shares in search engine Mamma.com based on nonpublic information to avoid $750,000 in losses. Cuban disputed the SEC’s charge and said that other investors knew about a private stock offering that would dilute the value of the company’s shares.
Cuban, in addition to owning the Mavericks basketball team, runs cable channel AXS TV (previously called HDNet). He also co-owns the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures and Magnolia Home Video along with partner Todd Wagner, and appears on ABC reality series “Shark Tank.”
The jury’s verdict in the case Wednesday followed a three-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas. If convicted, Cuban would have faced up to $3 million in fines and penalties but no jail time. Cuban, 55, has an estimated net worth of around $2.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Cuban, in remarks to reporters outside the courthouse Wednesday, criticized the SEC’s insider trading policies as vague and said he felt personally attacked by the agency.
“When you take all these years of my life and try to prove a point, it’s personal,” he said. “Obviously I wanted to win, but at the same time like I said, I didn’t win anything… There was no point in time when I sat there and listened to it and thought, ‘You know what, winning would feel good.'”
Watch Cuban’s press conference after the jury decision: