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Is insider trading a victimless crime?

| May 11, 2021 | Criminal Defense, White Collar Crimes |

Certain types of offenses are often referred to as “victimless crimes” in Michigan and across the country, raising the issue of whether there really are victimless crimes. For example, is insider trading a so-called victimless crime?

What is insider trading?

In simple layperson’s terms, insider trading is defined as the illicit practice of trading securities on the stock exchange to an investor’s advantage because of access to and improper use of confidential information. For example, Martha Stewart, the culinary icon and celebrity, was accused of insider trading when she was indicted in federal court. In the end, those charges did not stick, but she was convicted of lying to federal investigators.

Are there victims of insider trading?

Insider trading is referred to as one of a number of white-collar crimes that are victimless. However, there are a number of negative repercussions to this type of offense, which is why it is illegal.

The stock market itself is manipulated as a result of insider trading. Thus, the market can fairly be called a victim of insider trading. In addition, the economy more broadly can be affected by an insider trading scheme, impacting the public as whole. This represents another class of victims. Ultimately, insider trading is like a number of crimes in that rather than being victimless, it has less visible victims.

A person who is the subject of an insider trading investigation is wise to seek professional counsel from a criminal defense attorney about how to defend against the charges. As a matter of practice in Michigan, this type of lawyer may provide an initial consultation to a prospective client at no cost and no obligation.