It’s easy to imagine that illegal insider trading is mostly a game played by slick bad guys or aggressive traders who sometimes cross the line.
The story that federal prosecutors tell in the recent indictment of former Life Time Fitness Vice President Shane Fleming and eight others is a lot different. What’s striking is the very ordinariness of the people involved. They include a mortgage broker, a Realtor and an employee of a real estate development company.
The indictment describes them as such novices at this sort of thing that they had to phone up brokerage firms just to ask how listed stock options worked. It’s a cautionary tale, if proven in court, about how quick profits can easily tempt unsophisticated people to break the law.
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