U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 18361 / September 24, 2003
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Arthur K. Bartlett, No. 3:03CV463 (W.D.N.C.)
SEC Files Settled Insider Trading Case Against North Carolina Attorney
On September 24, 2003, the Commission filed a settled insider trading case in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against Arthur K. Bartlett, an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. The complaint alleges that in April 2003, Bartlett bought stock in LendingTree, Inc., a client of the law firm with which he was then associated, after learning that LendingTree would be acquired by another company. Bartlett settled the charges without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations.
The Commission's complaint specifically alleges that on April 23, 2003, Bartlett was told by another attorney at his law firm that the firm was representing LendingTree in connection with a pending transaction in which LendingTree would be acquired by USA Interactive, another public company now known as InterActiveCorp. According to the complaint, the other attorney also asked Bartlett to perform legal research concerning employment law issues relevant to the transaction. The Commission alleges that Bartlett then bought 540 shares of LendingTree common stock at $13 per share. The Commission further alleges that on May 5, 2003, after the acquisition agreement was announced, the price of LendingTree's stock rose by approximately 41%, and Bartlett realized illicit profits of $4,272 by selling his 540 shares that day. The Commission noted that Bartlett's law firm terminated his employment in July 2003.
Without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations, Bartlett agreed to the entry of a final judgment that would permanently enjoin him from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, order him to disgorge $4,272 in illicit trading profits (plus $71 in prejudgment interest), and order him to pay a $4,272 civil penalty.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the NASD in its investigation of this matter.