On Friday, March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”) became the largest U.S. lender since the Great Financial Crisis to enter into receivership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. SVB was a major provider of depository services and liquidity to various investment funds, managers and their related entities through subscription
The Second Circuit yesterday affirmed the insider trading conviction of the principal of a potential acquiror who, in breach of a nondisclosure agreement with a potential target company, had provided a tippee with nonpublic information about an impending acquisition of the target. The decision in United States v. Chow held that:
- The nondisclosure agreement (“NDA”) between the transaction parties created a duty to keep information about the potential transaction confidential and not to use it for any purpose other than the transaction;
- The defendant tipper violated that agreement by providing information to the tippee, who purchased significant amounts of the target’s shares before the transaction was announced;
- The evidence supported the jury’s finding that the tipper had intentionally provided material, nonpublic information (“MNPI”) to the tippee; and
- The tipper had received a sufficient personal benefit in exchange for providing MNPI.
The massive data breach of the United States Commerce and Treasury Departments that has roiled the federal government has resulted in federal securities litigation. On January 4, 2021, Plaintiff-Shareholder Timothy Bremer filed a class action complaint against SolarWinds and SolarWinds’ corporate executives in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. SolarWinds provides information technology and infrastructure management software products to entities around the globe, including to various U.S. government vendors in the executive branch, military, and intelligence services. According to the complaint, Russian hackers gained access to government email traffic by deceptively interfering with software updates released by SolarWinds. The complaint alleges that SolarWinds violated federal securities law by making false and/or misleading statements and failing to disclose material facts regarding SolarWinds’ cybersecurity practices and protocols, which artificially inflated the market price of SolarWinds’ shares. When news of the hack became public, the value of Solarwinds’ securities dropped, thereby producing an economic loss for investors within the class period of February 24, 2020 through December 15, 2020. The complaint asserts claims for violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 against SolarWinds and its corporate executives, and for violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the corporate executives.