Salient to Investors:

The SEC is increasing its focus on insider trading by overseas buyers of US-traded securities.

Overseas trading probes present significant obstacles to criminal charges. Foreign insider traders, while at some risk of losing their money, face very little chance of going to prison.

The significant number of cross-border transactions that include non-U.S. advisers multiplies the potential for leaks around the world.

Traders can more easily buy and sell securities through online brokers while masking their identity through offshore firms.

Defense attorneys for overseas traders, aware that the SEC’s evidence may be lacking, are increasingly seeking to fight cases rather than settle.

Jerry Markham at Florida International University said overseas regulators usually aren’t as vigilant in fighting insider trading at home – insider trading is really an American concept.

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