Thursday, August 11, 2011
The SEC charged a California man with insider trading for a 3000 percent profit based on confidential information that he learned from his girlfriend prior to Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. According to the SEC's complaint, Toby G. Scammell, who worked at an investment fund at the time, purchased Marvel call options beginning in mid-August 2009. He secretly used money in his brother’s accounts over which he had been given control when his brother was deployed to serve in Iraq a few years earlier. Scammell’s girlfriend worked on the Marvel acquisition as an extern in Disney’s corporate strategy department and possessed confidential details about the pricing and timing of the deal. After Marvel’s stock price jumped more than 25 percent after the public announcement, Scammell sold all of his Marvel options.
The SEC seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and financial penalties.