Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, won a lengthy fight with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday when a Texas jury cleared him of insider-trading charges.
The SEC had accused Cuban of using non-public information about Mamma.com, a Canadian Internet company, to make trades that helped him avoid about $750,000 in losses.
Cuban, 55, denied the charges during testimony at the federal courthouse in Dallas. A nine-member jury deliberated about four hours before clearing Cuban.
The SEC had sued Cuban, seeking a fine equivalent to the losses Cuban avoided by selling shares of the search-engine company in 2004.
Mamma.com's chief executive had testified that he gave Cuban advance notice of an upcoming stock offering that would reduce the value of Cuban's 6% stake in the company. Cuban sold the shares a few hours later, before the company announced the stock offering to the public, triggering a sell-off that drove down the value of its shares.
Cuban's lawyers argued that he was not prohibited from selling his shares. The flamboyant Cuban, who has been fined more than $1 million for criticizing NBA referees, accused the SEC of targeting him as a vendetta because of his political views and wealth.
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