When you dish out illegal stock tips at the golf course, there are no mulligans.
This summer the Securities and Exchange Commission has brought insider trading cases that center on the relationships between golfing buddies and how their chitchat in the tee box or at the 19th hole turned into lucrative and illegal trading bonanzas.
In July and August, the SEC filed two separate charges involving golf connections, including one targeting seven friends who regularly hit the links at Oakley Country Club just outside of Boston. The SEC charged they made more than $554,000 through illegal trades involving information shared about American Superconductor Corporation.
This follows a similar case from last year where the agency charged an accountant at Big Four firm KPMG with giving stock tips to his golfing partner.
Duffers are on notice — the lush fairways, manicured greens and posh clubhouses of America’s country clubs are no sanctuary from the SEC’s pursuit of fraudsters.
“Given the SEC’s success in finding insider trading cases in the golf world, that will give them incentive to continue pursuing investigations that involve golfers,” said Robert Heim, a former enforcement attorney and assistant regional director at the SEC in New York. “I do anticipate in the next year or so we may see more cases involving golfers.”