It was recently reported the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined several leading executives for insider trading. Sources are now revealing the shareholders and executives of five companies cited were not aware they were actually trading. Instead, representatives suggest they were holding recreational card games and other activities with co-workers and family members.
“We did not know the bingo chips were for real trades. Those cards looked different, but seemed harmless,” an unidentified CEO said.
Indeed there were playing cards that looked odd. Analysts said they could have symbols representing specific transactions to be played out. So far, nobody who has been cited has come forth to reveal what these mean.
It could also be these playing assets were not commonplace; they could have been custom made, according to one source. “That still doesn’t mean they were used for malicious purposes,” they said.
Additional theories exist. One suggests the “players” were just having fun, but someone on their team or somehow tracking their progress interpreted the results to take certain trading actions. “They could have indeed had a mole,” a senior Thai parliament official stated.
The executives nonetheless received hefty fines. According to SEC regulations, they were guilty of unfair trading practices. It was also revealed by the press some of these executives were part of the richest families in Thailand. Their lawyers argued that the execs were not aware playing bingo and cards was equal to unfair trading.
A corruption oversight committee said it didn’t know of any mission to set up high-level executives by rigging recreational games. The nation’s Privy Council was looking into the matter as well. It said it would not set an unnecessary example and undercut efforts to combat corruption problems, but a senior spokesperson said, “But really?”