SEC Sick Of The Caprice Of Juries, Ready To Make Deals To Avoid Them


After a high-profile setback involving a certain outspoken NBA owner (not that one), the SEC thought it had figured out how to get a jury to see things its way. Did one not just find that a Texas septuagenarian was every bit the conniving fraudster that the SEC said he was?

Well, Mary Jo White & co.’s winning streak did not last long, so they’re doing what it takes to prevent the start of another losing streak.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped its insider-trading allegations against an Atlanta businessman, marking the second time in less than a week the agency failed to win a high-profile case.

The SEC dismissed its case against Parker H. Petit, 75 years old, the former chairman and chief executive of Marietta, Ga.-based Matria Healthcare Inc., less than a month before it was due to go to trial.

The agency in January 2012 alleged Mr. Petit tipped off his friend and flying partner Earl C. Arrowood, 69, about Matria's impending sale to another company. Mr. Arrowood invested about half his net worth, buying $420,000 of stock in Matria ahead of the 2008 deal, realizing gains of more than $94,000, the SEC alleged….

Mr. Arrowood recently agreed to pay more than $22,000 to settle the allegations, without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. His lawyer, Anthony Cochran, said his client was "quite pleased" with the pact.

SEC Drops Insider-Trading Case Against Atlanta Businessman [WSJ]