Over at Cady Bar the Door, my friend David Smyth wrote yesterday about SEC v. Gincel -- which he dubbed "the Smallest Insider Trading Case in All of Captivity." In that case, which the SEC filed on March 1, 2016, the SEC alleged that the defendant's insider trading resulted in a profit of a whopping $1,083. Smyth wrote:
I sometimes warn clients that the SEC will occasionally bring a dinky insider trading case just to show there’s no floor or de minimis level it thinks is okay. And to look at this case, there’s not a lot of room to go down. I’ve never heard of a lower disgorgement figure, and am prepared to declare this case the smallest one ever. Please write if you’ve seen one that’s dinkier.
Well, stop the presses, David, because I've seen one that is dinkier!
In September 2003, when I was writing the now-defunct Securities Litigation Watch blog (a very clunky archive of which can be seen here), I wrote a post with the title, "Nine Hundred Twenty Two Dollars and Fourteen Cents." You can probably see where this is headed.
On September 25, 2003, I observed, the SEC sued a California lawyer for insider trading that allegedly permitted the lawyer to avoid losses of $922.14. According to the SEC's litigation release, the lawyer sold 10,000 shares of "Pay Pop" after learning that certain financing would not close, avoiding losses of $922.14. By my math, I noted in the post, "that appears to indicate that when the news of the financing became public, Pay Pop stock dropped a whopping Nine Cents...."
So David, I see your four-digit $1,083 insider trading case, and raise you lower you this three-digit $922 insider trading case!