Sports News

Cuban asks court to dismiss insider trading charges

Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban cheers on his team against the Charlotte Bobcats during an NBA basketball game at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 18, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Keane

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire basketball team owner Mark Cuban is asking a U.S. court to dismiss insider trading charges brought against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Cuban’s lawyers argued that Cuban had no fiduciary or similar duty of trust to the company in question --, now known as Copernic Inc -- and therefore could not be guilty of insider trading.

The filing says the SEC is trying to “impermissibly expand the scope of liability” for insider trading established by the Supreme Court.

The SEC declined to comment.

Cuban, listed by Forbes magazine as one of the 400 richest Americans with an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion, was charged with insider trading in the shares of the search engine company in November.

He faces civil charges for acting on nonpublic information and selling his entire stake in to avoid more than $750,000 in losses, the SEC alleged.

According to the SEC, Quebec-based invited Cuban in June 2004 to participate in a private placement offering after he agreed to keep the information confidential.

Cuban has said he did not agree to keep the information confidential and has vowed to contest the allegations.

Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks, national high-definition television network HDNet, and Landmark Theatres.

Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Gary Hill