The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a former SeaWorld lawyer with fraud for alleged insider trading. The Complain says that former SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc. associate general counsel Paul Powers used confidential information that the company was set to exceed analysts’ financial performance to make $65,000 in alleged “illicit profits.” The U.S. Department of Justice announced parallel criminal charges against Powers on Tuesday. Powers received a draft of SeaWorld’s earnings release Aug. 1, 2018. The following day, he allegedly purchased 18,000 shares of company stock. When SeaWorld publicly released its earnings , the company’s stock rose 17 percent—and Powers sold all his shares.
The Orlando-based marine animal amusement park terminated Powers in October over the alleged insider trading, according to the SEC’s complaint.
“At the time of his trading, defendant knew his trading was in breach of SeaWorld’s trading policy, knew his trading was in breach of duty of trust and confidence that he owed to SeaWorld and its shareholders, and knowingly and willfully breached the trading policy and his duty by trading in securities issued by SeaWorld while in possession of material and confidential information,” the SEC alleged in its complaint.