The SEC charged 26 year old Toby G. Scammell with insider trading relating to Disney’s August 31, 2009, acquisition of Marvel in a filing in the Central District of California court. The allegations are as follows: in 2009 Scammell (real name) was working at an investment fund and also living with his girlfriend of two years in the Los Angeles area. The girlfriend worked for Disney’s corporate strategies group and had inside information of Disney’s plan to acquire Marvel, something which typically drives the stock price of the target company upwards. If company ABC is about to acquire XYZ, it is almost certain that the share price of XYZ will go up, which is why using such inside information is against the law. Scammell, as a cohabitant, was able to overhear conversations and see confidential documents related to the secret, upcoming acquisition. It is also alleged that Scammell’s brother was in Iraq and had left Scammell in control of his funds; then Scammell used his brother’s funds to purchase 647 call options on Marvel worth $5,465 in August 2009 which allowed him to realize almost $200,000 in profits. It is also alleged that Scammell kept his profits secret from both his girlfriend and brother. However, the SEC became suspicious of such a high volume of Marvel call options being purchased just prior to the acquisition.
It is America and Scammell is innocent until proven guilty, but the complete release can be found here: