Illegal Insider Trading

(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Imagine all the benefits you’d get if you were William Marovitz, the son-in-law of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner by marriage to Hugh’s daughter Christy who was herself the CEO of Playboy Enterprises. And by “benefits” I mean, of course, access to some awesome figures. Wink wink nudge nudge. Those of Playboy’s finances, that is, which, according to a report by Bloomberg, he used to trade Playboy stock based on the information he knew before the rest of the investment community.

And Marovitz is not alone (either at the mansion or the big house which he managed to avoid) — This is one of the most active eras in prosecution of insider trading in SEC history.

So what is illegal insider trading? It’s when you buy or sell stock based on important information that is not generally known to the public because it gives you an advantage over other investors. You don’t have to be the CEO to violate the law – you just have to buy or sell on information you learned from someone who has a duty not to tell.

So, if you hear talk – pillow or otherwise – from someone that makes you think, “boy if this gets out, it sure will affect the stock price” that’s a pretty good sign that you should not buy or sell lest your girls next door be bubba and killer in the pen.

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