The SEC busts its own for insider trading

Well, well, well, look what we have here. Two employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are under investigation by federal criminal authorities for using insider information to trade stocks.

The SEC's internal watchdog alleges that the two SEC lawyers traded in stock of a "large financial services company," after another SEC employee told them of ongoing investigations of the company. According to CBS News, the SEC inspector general report noted that one SEC attorney under investigation works in the office of the SEC's chief counsel and has access to "a tremendous amount" of nonpublic information.

Through a spokesperson, the SEC noted, "We take seriously even the suggestion that any SEC employee would engage in insider trading. We note that the inspector general report neither accuses any SEC employee of insider trading nor concludes that any such conduct took place."

So, let's see here . . . at the group that is in charge of protecting investors and making sure that the market runs fairly and properly, two employees decided it would be a good move to take some of the information available only to them and go all Martha Stewart . . . smooth move, guys. Perhaps they thought that they could get away with it -- you know, the best bank robber is an employee kind of thinking.

Of course, maybe these two criminal masterminds were all hopped up on a marathon night of viewing Ocean's 11, 12, and 13 on a continuous loop, convincing themselves that they could pull off the impossible. Actually, I am surprised that this doesn't happen more often. I am not a criminal mastermind, but some of those not as strong as you or I could easily be pulled in by the siren song of thousands of dollars by trading on information that only SEC insiders receive.

There is a positive side to this story: it shows that the SEC is indeed doing its job. That's some good police work, keep it up. Now, let's see if these hardened criminals spend some time at a place a bit more stringent than Martha's camp cupcake.
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