Dallas Mavericks owner and AXS TV chairman Mark Cuban was found not guilty of insider trading charges Wednesday, ending a nine-year odyssey through the federal court system for the outspoken billionaire
Cuban, who Forbes magazine estimates is worth about $2.5 billion, was accused of selling his entire 6% stake (600,000 shares) of Canadian Internet startup Mamma.com in 2004 after learning about a private stock offering the company was planning from company executives. According to the initial suit, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Cuban avoided about $750,000 in losses by selling the shares ahead of the private offering. Private stock offerings by public companies generally result in a short-term drop in the stock price.
According to several reports, the jury in Dallas federal court deliberated for about four hours before returning the not guilty verdict. Cuban had been facing several million dollars in fines, but no jail time, if he were convicted.