SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The 9th Circuit reversed and remanded a ruling for attorney J. Thomas Talbot, a member of the board of directors of Fidelity National Financial, who was accused of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Judge Wardlaw found that Talbot may be held liable for misappropriating confidential information that a third party was looking to buy LendingTree – a deal which would allegedly net Fidelity $50 million as a shareholder. Talbot bought 10,000 shares of LendingTree after finding out about the impending acquisition.
The court considered Talbot’s actions insider trading, even though Fidelity’s CEO never told the board of directors that the information was confidential.
Talbot can be held liable for misappropriating the information from Fidelity, the court ruled, but the case heads back to the district court to settle whether that information was “material” under the law.