back to article School teacher accused of pocketing $1m+ in insider trading using tips from Silicon Valley pal

A teacher who knew too much about some of Silicon Valley's financial figures has been charged with insider dealing by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, along with five alleged accomplices. Benjamin Wylam, a high school teacher and sports bookmaker who has been charged with participating in an insider trading ring, …

  1. Claverhouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    a high school teacher and sports bookmaker ... gave me pause; but I did not know that acting on information passed to one counted as the ridiculous offence of insider trading. I assumed one had to be an insider who profited from what one knew.

    Anyway, good luck to him. There are worse things.

    1. jtaylor Bronze badge

      When you possess information that's not available to the rest of the market, and which would affect the value of shares, that's inside information. That's not a crime.

      If you attempt to use that "valuable non-public information" to obtain favorable results, that's "insider trading." Note that it's the intent that matters, not whether you actually profit (or how much loss you avoided), or even whether your information was accurate. If you cheat, and you suck at it, you're still a cheat.

      1. Keven E
        Pirate

        All the data analysis in the world is trying to...

        "...and you suck at it..."

        It really wouldn't be so valuable if it was public.

        Relly, it's ok to lie and cheat someone at .001c for 100,000,000 repetitions (hello <insert search engine of choice here> (lol)), but one time at 100,000$... we can't have that!

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      ridiculous offence?

      If the rules were written the way you seem to think they should be, then I could legally pass insider information to all my friends. All my friends are rich, I am popular, the world is good! ... For a little while, until the consequences of the broken market causes all my friends' money to be worthless.

      1. Blazde Silver badge

        Re: ridiculous offence?

        If you give insider information to your friends planning or merely knowing they'll use it for insider trading, or you find out later they did and fail to report it then you'll be guilty of some kind of conspiracy to commit or accessory to insider trading crime.

        If you blab confidential financial information in the pub genuinely oblivious to the fact your friends later trade on it then that's just going to be between you and your employment contract (unless perhaps you're an officer of the company in which case you might be held to higher standards and given a proper good telling off by a judge before getting off scot free).

        It is a slightly confusing term, whatever the history of it 'insider' now refers to the information not to the trader.

  2. R.O.

    Minnows netted...

    ...while the big ones always get away.

  3. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    the big ones

    The big fish swim in boardrooms and on golf courses, and their information is more strategic than tactical -- mostly.

    The so-called sophisticated data analysis was no doubt the big fish at Infinera and Fortinet watching their own stock during the key trading windows. Negative earnings information was particularly likely to get these men caught since they needed a short option to make a profit. The big fish swim with the current, not against it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Using sophisticated data analysis, the SEC was able to uncover this insider trading ring ...

    Golly gee, crooks will never be able to rest again, AI is here!

    > Benjamin Wylam, a high school teacher and sports bookmaker, has been charged with participating in an insider trading ring, allegedly said on an internet message board that "insider trading is part of my investment strategy.

    Unfortunately for Benjamin "Why I am so stupid" Wylam, retired Financial Crimes Enforcement Network officer Al-Khwarizmi was subscribed to the same message board.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congress

    Another double standard in US, Congress has been exempt from insider trading laws for most of history. Creating a Wealth of power for less than stellar types of people. After 70 years people requested the "STOCK Act" (2012) to ban insider trading in congress. And most recently Passed House (05/18/2021) Insider Trading Prohibition Act. These aren't the only laws over the years, there have been many - because they keep working around them. It just goes to show, you can make all the laws you want, criminals don't care.

  6. Tempest
    Mushroom

    The SEC Can Catch Little Minnows But Not Sharks Like

    Madoff, who recently changed digs made of concrete to one of a large boiler. Roast in Hell, Bernie.

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