SEC’s “Shadow Trading” Insider Trading Case Allowed to Proceed
January 24, 2022
On January 14, 2022, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision in SEC v. Matthew Panuwat validating the legal theory advanced by the Commission that trading in the securities of a competitor company could form the basis of an insider trading violation where the defendant learned that an acquisition of his employer was imminent.
In denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint, the court ruled that the SEC had sufficiently pled a claim, marking the first judicial decision concerning alleged insider trading in securities of a company based on material, nonpublic information (“MNPI”) about another company, a practice that has sometimes been referred to as “shadow trading.” The court’s refusal to dismiss the SEC’s novel legal theory that trading on the basis of MNPI of one company to profit on a securities transaction involving a competitor constitutes actionable insider trading should be considered by companies and individuals as they assess trading decisions and policies.
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