By: Mark Tarallo
Continuing its crackdown on insider trading activities, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced on November 21 that it had filed charges against an executive of GenTek, Inc. and his restaurant-manager friend for acting on material non-public information. The executive frequented a restaurant managed by the friend, and had told the friend that GenTek was looking for a buyer. Acting on the information, the friend purchased GenTek stock, making a substantial profit when the sale was completed. The SEC imposed fines and penalties of more than $324,000 against the two, citing the executive for failing to maintain the strict confidentiality required of material, non-public information. The case serves as a needed reminder to executives of public companies that no information about their company should ever be disclosed outside of the business context.