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4 ways it can be easy for insider trading to accidentally occur

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Insider trading is the act of buying or selling a security based on material, nonpublic information. It is a serious offense that can result in severe penalties.

While some cases of insider trading are deliberate, others occur accidentally due to various factors.

1. Information overload

In today’s interconnected world, information spreads rapidly. Employees of publicly traded companies may inadvertently come across material information about their company’s performance or future plans in the course of their work. This information can include upcoming product releases, financial results or merger negotiations. Inadvertently acting on this information without realizing it is nonpublic can lead to unintentional insider trading.

2. Casual conversations

Employees often engage in casual conversations with colleagues, suppliers or clients. These conversations may mistakenly reveal material information about the company. For example, discussing upcoming projects or contracts could lead to the disclosure of nonpublic information. If someone acts on this information without realizing its sensitivity, they could unknowingly engage in insider trading.

3. Lack of awareness

Without proper training and education on insider trading laws and regulations, employees may unknowingly violate them. Many employees may not fully understand what constitutes material, nonpublic information. They may not realize that certain information they possess is not yet public or that acting on it could constitute insider trading.

4. Inadvertent disclosure

Employees may inadvertently disclose material, nonpublic information to friends, family members or acquaintances without realizing the implications. These individuals may then trade securities based on this information, unknowingly engaging in insider trading.

While insider trading is often associated with deliberate misconduct, it can also occur unintentionally. It is important for employees to be aware of the laws and regulations and to exercise caution when dealing with sensitive information.