Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The SEC settled charges that William A. Marovitz, the spouse of former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, engaged in illegal insider trading in Playboy stock in advance of public news announcements. According to the SEC's complaint, on five occasions between 2004 and 2009, Marovitz traded based on confidential information that he misappropriated from Hefner, who was the CEO of Playboy during most of the trades at issue. Marovitz bought and sold Playboy stock in his own brokerage accounts ahead of public news announcements despite instructions from his wife that he should not trade in shares of Playboy and a warning from the general counsel of Playboy about his buying or selling Playboy stock. In total, Marovitz gained profits and avoided losses of $100,952.
Marovitz has consented to pay $168,352 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties. The settlement is subject to approval by the court.