Bloomberg BNA Quotes James Benjamin and Robert Hotz from PLI Insider Trading Panel

Litigation partners James Benjamin and Robert Hotz were quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s White Collar Crime Report after participating in a panel discussion on insider trading and the STOCK Act—the federal law that bars members of Congress, their staffers and federal employees from trading stock based on information gained through their public service.

Benjamin, who heads Akin Gump’s securities enforcement and litigation practice, described the STOCK Act as a “super interesting new frontier” in insider trading. During the panel, which was part of a Practising Law Institute white collar crime conference, Benjamin stated that, because of the “culture of Washington,” political intelligence may be riskier than expert networks with respect to insider trading exposure. Hotz, who moderated the panel, said he expects the government will, at the least, apply “greater scrutiny” to the political intelligence industry.

Speaking about the government’s case against SAC Capital, accused this summer of wire and securities fraud, Hotz said civil forfeiture, which the company faces in a government lawsuit, is a novel tool that “essentially expands the government’s ability to” seek funds from a defendant.

Finally, Hotz discussed tippee liability, and whether a tippee in an insider trading case must be aware that a tipper received a personal benefit in exchange for shared information. Two cases from the Southern District of New York, according to Hotz, have cast “a fair bit of doubt” on that standard. Those cases are currently on appeal to the 2nd Circuit.