August 31, 2021

Insider Trading: Who Watches the Watch Dealers?

Okay, unlike the “shadow trading” insider trading case that Liz blogged about last week, the one announced by the SEC yesterday was pretty prosaic.  It basically involved adding a tippee defendant to an ongoing enforcement proceeding. Here’s an excerpt from the SEC’s press release:

The Securities and Exchange Commission announces insider trading charges against Robert J. Maron of Thousand Oaks, California, who generated more than $1 million in profits by trading in the securities of Illumina, Inc. ahead of an October 10, 2016 Illumina financial performance announcement.

The SEC’s amended complaint, filed on August 30, 2021 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Martha Patricia Bustos, formerly an Illumina accountant, tipped Donald Blakstad in advance of Illumina’s October 16, 2016 announcement. Blakstad, in turn, tipped Maron, who purchased Illumina securities and realized more than $1 million in profits.

Yes, you’ve seen cases like this a million times, so why am I blogging about it? Well, it turns out that according to the SEC’s press release, the new defendant is a “Calfornia-based watch dealer,” and the chance to pen a headline that was such an easy play on “Who Watches the Watchmen?” was more than my boomer dad brain could resist.

John Jenkins