In the past, insider trading cases have been considered difficult to prove and prosecute. These cases usually require extensive evidence-gathering coupled with a high burden of proof. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Justice Department are now turning to new developments in technology and regulatory efforts that have led to an increased focus on investigating and prosecuting insider trading cases. Why were these cases hard to prove in the past and what exactly are these new technologies?
Many of the most valuable companies in the world today began as small start-ups owned by a few visionary entrepreneurs. As those companies become increasingly valuable, so does the stock held by those founders. It is no secret that much of the wealth amassed by the richest people on the planet is tied up in the stock of their companies. When CEOs and other executives sell a large portion of their incredibly valuable stock, how do they avoid accusations of insider trading? The answer: they implement a Rule 10b5-1 plan.