The Securities and Exchange Commission intends to file insider trading charges against a Dow Jones & Co. board member for telling acquaintances about the $5 billion offer to acquire the parent of The Wall Street Journal by News Corp. before it became public.
Sarah Ellison and Kara Scannell of The Journal wrote, “The SEC has notified Dow Jones board director David Li, chairman and chief executive of Bank of East Asia Ltd., through a Wells notice that it plans to recommend filing civil charges against him, these people said.
“The Wells notice is the final step before the SEC files a lawsuit. It allows the person or entity that received it one last chance to persuade the agency not to bring the case. The SEC five-member commission has to sign off on any lawsuit.
“The development comes the same week that Dow Jones’s board of directors has agreed in principle to sell the company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, MarketWatch, Barron’s and other entities, to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. A final deal would need approval from the Bancroft family, the controlling shareholder of Dow Jones, which has been split on a sale to Mr. Murdoch.”
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