Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Friday, November 20, 2009

SEC Charges Former Shuffle Master Executive with Insider Trading

On November 19, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada against R. Brooke Dunn, a former executive at Shuffle Master, Inc., and Nicholas P. Howey for illegal insider trading in Shuffle Master stock and options prior to an announcement of disappointing financial results by Shuffle Master.

The SEC's Complaint alleges that, on February 26, 2007, after he first learned that Shuffle Master would announce disappointing preliminary financial results, Dunn called Howey and provided him with material nonpublic information relating to Shuffle Master's anticipated announcement. Howey then immediately sold all of his previously-purchased Shuffle Master stock and calls and purchased Shuffle Master puts. The next day, after Shuffle Master announced its disappointing financial news, Howey sold all of the Shuffle Master puts he purchased the previous day. Through the foregoing transactions, Howey profited by (or avoided losses of) approximately $237,000.

The Complaint charges Dunn and Howey with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of illegal trading profits, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. The Complaint also seeks an order barring Dunn from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

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