Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was found not guilty of insider trading Wednesday in a civil case brought to court by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Cuban was accused by the SEC of trading his stock in the search engine Mamma.com based on insider information. Forbes reports:
Cuban’s defense team said that he never agreed to confidentiality or to avoid selling his stock upon learning of the placement from Mamma.com chief Guy Faure, who claims that Cuban did make such an assurance.
With no written confidentiality agreement, the outcome largely boiled down to Cuban’s word against Faure’s. The SEC’s failure to compel Faure to appear for live questioning in the courtroom, settling instead for videotaped testimony, most likely hurt its case, according to Stuart Slotnick, a defense attorney who has done battle with the agency on several civil and criminal cases.
“You don’t want your star witness on videotape,” Slotnick says. “The jury is deprived of getting to assess his credibility.”