By Mark Tarallo
In June 2011, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks pushed aside the Miami Heat to win the NBA Championship, four games to two. Unfortunately for Cuban and his long-running battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the SEC is proving to be a much tougher opponent than the Heat, and recently won a procedural ruling against Cuban striking down an affirmative defense raised by Cuban.
The SEC filed a civil complaint against Cuban in 2008, alleging insider trading in connection with his sale of shares in Mamma.com, Inc. (now called Copernic, Inc.). The case was dismissed in 2009, and Cuban moved for sanctions against the SEC, which were denied. An appellate court reinstated the case against Cuban in 2011. In his pleadings, Cuban raised “unclean hands” on the part of the SEC as an affirmative defense. The SEC moved to strike the affirmative defense, and in a ruling dated July 18, 2011, US District Court Judge Sidney Fitzwater granted the SEC’s motion to strike.
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