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FBI Building Insider Trading Cases Against 120 Individuals

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the FBI is currently investigating approximately 240 individuals, including hedge-fund traders and company insiders for insider trading.  About half of those are considered “targets”those that the FBI believes broke insider trading laws and that the FBI is actively building cases against.  The rest are “subjects”those who are under preliminary investigation for committing crimes.  This insider trading investigation may be the most expansive in recent history.  According to Barry Goldsmith, former chief litigation counsel of the SEC Enforcement Division, insider-trading rings have increased in scope in recent years, involving bankers, analysts, corporate insiders, consultants and traders.  Richard Jacobs of the FBI said that increased competition among hedge-fund managers may have led several managers to turn to illegal activity.  Despite the headlines, it is important to note that the FBI estimates that only 1% of the industry are bad actors.