Business Associations Keyed to Hamilton
Dirks v. Securities and Exchange Commn.
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Dirks (Defendant), the tippee and officer of a brokerage firm, was told by the insider, Secrist, that Equity Funding of America (EFA) was committing corporate fraud. The Defendant then investigated EFA to verify Secrist’s information. Neither Defendant nor his firm owned or traded EFA stock. However, during Defendant’s investigation, he openly disclosed the information to investors and many of them sold their EFA stock as a result. The price of EFA stock then dropped from $26 to $15. However, mainly because of Defendant’s investigation, the SEC (Plaintiff) was able to convict the officers of EFA for corporate fraud. Still, the Plaintiff sued the Defendant and reprimanded him for revealing the nonpublic information to the investors. The court of appeals affirmed. Defendant applied for and was granted certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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