Here's just a little tip for any individuals or firms employing individuals engaging in a little passing or trading of material, non-public information: if you're worried about the consequences, don't be. As long as you come clean in a timely fashion, the SEC is willing to let it go.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former Executive Vice President of children's clothing marketer Carter's Inc. for engaging in financial fraud and insider trading. The SEC alleges that Joseph M. Elles's misconduct caused an understatement of Carter's expenses and a material overstatement of its net income in several financial reporting periods.
The SEC also announced that it has entered a non-prosecution agreement with Carter's under which the Atlanta-based company will not be charged with any violations of the federal securities laws relating to Elles's unlawful conduct. The non-prosecution agreement reflects the relatively isolated nature of the unlawful conduct, Carter's prompt and complete self-reporting of the misconduct to the SEC, its exemplary and extensive cooperation in the investigation, including undertaking a thorough and comprehensive internal investigation, and Carter's extensive and substantial remedial actions. This marks the first non-prosecution agreement entered by the SEC since the announcement of the SEC's new cooperation initiative earlier this year.