Executive material right there. /s
A now-former Palo Alto Networks IT administrator illegally exploited his employer's confidential financial figures to line his pockets with stock-market profits, it is claimed. Janardhan Nellore, 42, of Milpitas, California, clocked the numbers and made trades of the US giant's securities, occasionally from his own work …
They always do something really dumb, like using their work computers in this case, that makes it so easy for the SEC to track. Sure, suspicious trades will show up on their radar, but if you relied on someone you know (not immediate family) to make trades, and give you your proceeds in cash (which you never deposit in a bank, and spend in cash) or in an overseas account, it would make their job a lot tougher. Not saying they couldn't still catch you, but everyone we read about makes such an obvious mistake that I can't imagine they put much thought into things in advance.
I'm tempted to dig into the research to see if anyone's experimented with proxies for successful (i.e. not directly detected) insider training, to get an idea of what the success rate might be.
I also wonder what kind of black market exists for insider information, and what mechanisms it uses to sanction defectors (people who provide false or misleading information; or if payment comes after confirmation, buyers who don't pay). An escrow system would probably work but that would require a trusted third party. Such a market would likely be safer (but with a correspondingly smaller reward) than using insider information directly. It seems like an obvious idea, so I'd expect one exists.