Reporting Jack Fink
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – During his second day of testifying in his own defense, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told jurors he could have settled the insider trading civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But instead, the billionaire said he decided to fight it in court because he had done nothing wrong, and wouldn’t be bullied.
In court Monday, Cuban revealed he had spoken with the SEC June 30, 2004, two days after he sold all his stock in a Canadian search engine company named Momma.com.
Chief Federal Judge Sidney Fitzwater allowed Cuban’s attorney to present to jurors notes that the SEC took of the team owner’s conversations more than eight years ago.
Arnold Spencer is a former federal prosecutor who watched some of the proceedings Monday morning and says, “The notes were very consistent with what Mark Cuban has been telling the jury throughout the trial.”
The SEC accuses Cuban of selling his stock so he could avoid losing $750,000 in losses after the company’s CEO told him confidential information that he was going to issue more shares the very next day.
Cuban says he told the SEC back then that he sold the shares and that he was upset with the stock offering, and about a convicted stock manipulator involved with Mamma.com.
Even though the company CEO testified he told Cuban the stock offering was confidential information, Cuban insisted he did not believe the information he received was confidential, and never agreed to keep it that way.
Spencer said, “In this case, these notes reflect just days after Cuban had made the trade, he’s openly talking with the SEC lawyers indicating he had no belief this was confidential information.”
Spencer believes the case hinges on how credible jurors think Cuban is. “I thought he was doing very well. He’s confident, he’s credible, yet he also seemed to have a good dose of humility. I think he’s coming across very well with the jury.”
If Cuban loses, he faces millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
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