Tuesday Roundup: Dallas Goes A Begging & More

  • There’s something inherently disgraceful about Dallas officials lining up to stick their snout in the federal trough. And if Dallasites aren’t willing to pay more for the Trinity River project, why should taxpayers in Maine, Georgia, and Nevada? How is this their responsibility?
  • Most biology teachers in Texas don’t see any controversy in teaching evolution mainly because they actually understand evolution. The rest use The Flintstones as a teaching aid.

Mark Cuban Charged With Insider Trading? UPDATE: Yes

Via Drudge: SEC charges DALLAS MAVERICKS owner Mark Cuban with insider trading... Developing...

UPDATE AT 11:16 a.m.

Being the savvy day trader I am, I pulled this off the SEC’s website:

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 20810 / November 17, 2008

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark Cuban, Civil Action No. 3-08-CV-2050-D (SF)

SEC Files Insider Trading Charges Against Mark Cuban

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it filed insider trading charges today against Dallas entrepreneur Mark Cuban in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The Commission’s complaint alleges that Cuban violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws by engaging in illegal insider trading in the securities of Mamma.com Inc. (“Mamma.com”), a publicly traded Internet search engine company (now known as Copernic Inc.) based in Montreal, Canada. According to the complaint, in June 2004, Cuban sold his entire 600,000 share position in Mamma.com on the basis of material, non-public information concerning an impending PIPE (private investment in public equity) offering by the company. The complaint alleges that Cuban avoided losses in excess of $750,000 by selling his stock prior to the public announcement of the PIPE offering.

According to the complaint, Cuban was Mamma.com’s largest known shareholder during the relevant time period. On June 28, 2004, the complaint alleges, Mamma.com’s then-chief executive officer — after securing Cuban’s agreement to keep the information confidential — invited Cuban to invest in the PIPE offering. The complaint further alleges that Cuban knew that the offering would be conducted at a discount to the prevailing market price and that it would be dilutive to existing shareholders. According to the complaint, later that day, Cuban called his broker and — in breach of his agreement to keep the information confidential — instructed him to sell out his entire position in the company. That afternoon (June 28), and over the next day (June 29), the broker liquidated Cuban’s entire 600,000 share position. After the markets closed on June 29, 2004, Mamma.com publicly announced the PIPE offering. The next day, Mamma.com’s stock price opened at $11.89, down $1.215 or 9.3%, from the prior day’s closing price of $13.105. According to the complaint, Cuban thereby avoided losses in excess of $750,000 by selling on the basis of material, non-public information concerning the PIPE offering.

The complaint alleges that by engaging in illegal insider trading, Cuban violated the antifraud provisions of both the Securities Act of 1933 (Section 17(a)) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder). The Commission’s complaint seeks to permanently enjoin Cuban from future violations of the applicable provisions of the federal securities laws, disgorgement (with prejudgment interest thereon), and a civil penalty.

SEC Complaint

UPDATE 2: Doug speaks to my conspiracy-tending nature when he notes:

Funny how they are going after Cubes after he has a website tracking the bailout…..

Which Cuban’s been doing on BailoutSleuth.com, if a little less neatly then certainly more aggressively than most of the mainstream media.

How about that.

Update 3: Mark Cuban responds.

Frontburner Should Be Up By Early Afternoon

Fingers crossed.

Monday Roundup: Your Papers Please, Craig Watkins & More

  • Bad: State DPS wanted to set up ID  checkpoints. Good: Plans are scrapped. Lousy: Lawmakers were only concerned about whether illegal immigrants were targeted, not whether their own constituents would have to show their papers on demand to state police.

Friday Roundup: ID Theft, Cynthia Dunbar & Other Shockers

  • From Tarrant County, a Friday? (And, eewww.)

Thursday Roundup: Confidence Games, Market Forecasts & More

  • You shouldn’t blame the victim for the crime, the conventional wisdom says, but come on — if you fall for this guy, well, who’s to blame but you?
  • Property values heading into a murky 2009 in The DFW?
  • Say, all of you in the media who supported the $750 billion bailout? Got anything to say for yourselves?

You Know Who Else Is Having Cost Overrun Problems?

From one of my favorite regulars comes this:

According to an article in the Sports Business Journal, the Cowboys are trying to borrow $350 million by December 1st to cover — wait for it — cost overruns in construction of their new stadium. The loan includes refinancing of a $126 million loan obtained last year plus money for those pesky cost overruns. The original cost estimate in 2004 was $650 million, to be financed with $76 million from the NFL, $350 million in public support, and the rest from the ‘Boys. The cost overruns kicked in, and the Cowboys made the unfortunate choice of borrowing in the auction rate securities (ARS) market which melted down last February. That hiccup resulted in automatic interest rate increases that, in turn, led to the ‘Boys recent attempt to raise new capital.

But I’m sure the proposed $550 million city-owned convention center hotel won’t have any such problems. I mean, it’s a city government project. What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday Roundup: Sex Offender Restrictions, Gay Frats, DISD & More

  • So pretty much everyone in criminal justice agrees that the blanket Condition X parole restrictions for low-level offenders neither enhances public safety nor is cost-effective. And they agree it’s unfair, to boot. So naturally reform has little chance of passing the Lege.
  • The University of Texas is getting its first gay frat not counting the Sigma Nu house. Prompting one reader to note: “God is no longer going to protect this country.” Which you’d expect. If this were Afghanistan under the Taliban.
  • I have a theory where DISD’s missing $84 million went. This guy wrote a computer program that took all those fractions of a cent, and instead of rounding it off, it sent the fractions to his personal account. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Monday Roundup: Convention Center Hotel Referendum Official, Saggin’ & More

  • The City Secretary has verified the signatures; whether the city of Dallas should own a hotel goes to the voters in May. And yet Mayor Leppert refuses to slow down the development process out of respect for the voters. Anyone else see a problem here?
  • So Collin County residents have a 0.3 percent eviction rate, and it’s up to just under 0.5 percent. Everybody panic?

Friday Roundup: City Council Junkets, DISD Audit, Stockpiling Guns & More

  • Rod Dreher hit a bulls-eye a few weeks ago when he said that when city council members talk about wanting to make Dallas a “world class city” you better hang on to your wallet.
  • I’m sorry. I love my fellow gun owners. But any of you just now getting around to stockpiling instead of working on it six months ago — you’re on your own. That’s like buying a stock when it peaks.
  • Because I’m usually so hard on how shallow TV news is in The DFW, fairness demands I give props for good watchdog stories. Take a bow, Jack Fink.