Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The SEC filed an insider trading action against Gordon C. Bigler, the former director of corporate finance and investor relations for Provide Commerce, alleging that Bigler traded in Provide Commerce stock immediately after learning confidential information about its pending acquisition by Liberty Media. The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in San Diego, California, alleges that Bigler learned of Liberty's proposed acquisition price for Provide Commerce of $33 per share prior to the merger in an email from Provide Commerce's chief financial officer on November 15, 2005. Bigler traded within an hour of receiving the inside information, buying 4,500 Provide Commerce shares. On the first trading day after Provide Commerce publicly announced the acquisition, Provide Commerce's stock price increased more than 10.5 percent, and its trading volume increased 1,045 percent. Shortly after the announcement, Bigler sold his Provide Commerce shares for a profit of $41,622.78.
To settle the SEC's charges, Gordon C. Bigler has consented, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, to a final judgment permanently enjoining him from future violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, to pay $41,622.78, representing the disgorgement of his illegal trading profits and prejudgment interest, and to pay a civil penalty of $41,622.78. The settlement is subject to approval by the court.