News and Results : SKV Wins Complete Acquittal in Baton Rouge Criminal Insider Trading Case News and Results : SKV Wins Complete Acquittal in Baton Rouge Criminal Insider Trading Case

SKV Wins Complete Acquittal in Baton Rouge Criminal Insider Trading Case

SKV Wins Complete Acquittal in Baton Rouge Criminal Insider Trading Case

Federal prosecutors alleged that in 2012, Roberts, a Ruston dentist, purchased call options in the Shaw Group based on material nonpublic information obtained from his brother-in-law, then a Shaw executive, in advance of Shaw being acquired by Chicago Bridge & Iron. Roberts made $700,000 on the trades, and the government alleged he shared $30,000 of the profit with his brother-in-law in return for the inside information.

During a nine-day trial, the defense argued Roberts's trades were based on his own research, not insider information, and that the tip from his brother-in-law was a speculative rumor. The defense also claimed that in any event, the rumor was "public" at the time of his trades. Shaun Clarke, partner of Houston-based firm Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P. acted as lead trial counsel and tried the case with partner Dane Ball and associate Alex Wolf. Clarke delivered the opening statement and closing argument; Ball cross examined numerous government witnesses and presented the defense's trading expert; and Wolf argued various legal motions throughout trial.

The jury unanimously agreed with the defense and returned a verdict of not guilty on one count each of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud - a virtually unprecedented accomplishment for the defense. “Jesse and his family have been through a horrible ordeal,” said lead attorney and former federal prosecutor Clarke. “They feel blessed and thankful that the jury considered all the evidence and reached a just verdict.”