Monday, May 14, 2007
More insider trading charges involving a husband-and-wife team:
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed insider trading charges against a former Oracle Corporation vice president who allegedly traded on confidential information about Oracle acquisition targets gleaned from his spouse, who was also employed by Oracle. The Commission alleges that Christopher Balkenhol, 40, of San Mateo, Calif., learned about secret merger negotiations from his wife, who worked at Oracle as the lead executive assistant to Oracle's CEO and two co-presidents. Without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations, Balkenhol agreed to settle the action against him, paying a total of approximately $198,000—including a penalty of nearly $100,000.
The Commission's complaint, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Balkenhol traded in a series of Oracle acquisition targets during 2004 and 2005. Balkenhol allegedly learned about the planned acquisitions from his wife, who had access to the schedules of Oracle's three top executives and was aware of significant merger-related meetings. The Commission does not allege that Balkenhol's wife knew about Balkenhol's illicit trades. Rather, the complaint alleges that Balkenhol breached a duty not to misuse confidences gleaned from his wife for his own gain.