Mark Cuban won a years-long fight with the federal government Wednesday when jurors in Dallas said that the billionaire basketball owner did not commit insider-trading when he sold his shares in an Internet company in 2004.
The jury in federal district court in Dallas found that the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to prove several key elements of its case, including that Cuban traded on nonpublic information.
The nine-member jury deliberated for about four hours. The trial spanned three weeks.
The SEC accused Cuban of using inside information to sell $7.9 million of stock in Mamma.com Inc. in 2004 after he learned confidentially of a stock offering that would send the share price down. The agency wanted Cuban to repay $750,000 in losses that he avoided, plus pay a penalty. It was a civil lawsuit, so the Dallas Mavericks owner and regular on the ABC reality show Shark Tank didn’t face criminal charges.
Cuban testified that he never agreed to keep information about the stock deal private and told the company that he would sell his shares.
The SEC sued Cuban more than four years after he sold his stake in Mamma.com, a search engine company that was based in Canada.
The company’s CEO testified by video that Cuban agreed not to disclose information the CEO told him in 2004 about a pending stock offering that would lessen the value of Cuban’s 6 percent stake in the company.
The CEO said that Cuban, the company’s largest shareholder, acknowledged that he couldn’t sell his shares on the news.
He sold them a few hours later, however, before the company announced the stock offering to the public.
Pelicans retain two players
The New Orleans Pelicans exercised third-year options on the contracts of 2012 first-round draft choices Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.
Davis, the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals and was named an NBA All-Rookie First Team member last season.
The 6-foot-10 former Kentucky star was a regular starter at power forward. His 20 double-doubles led all rookies.
Rivers was the 10th overall pick in the draft. He averaged 6.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds, but saw his rookie campaign cut short by a hand injury in early March, during a game in which he’d scored 10 first-half points against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bruised knee shelves Butler
Chicago guard Jimmy Butler sat out the Bulls’ preseason game Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons because of a bruised left knee.
Butler banged knees with Washington’s John Wall on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. An MRI showed no structural damage.
Star point guard Derrick Rose was back in the lineup as expected after missing a game because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. He was playing at the United Center for the first time since April 28, 2012, when tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the playoff opener against Philadelphia.
Center Joakim Noah was making his preseason debut after missing the first three games because of a strained groin.