U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20494 / March 13, 2008
SEC v. Robert G. Cole, Case No. Civ 08-265 C (W. D. Okla.)
SEC Charges Former Diebold Sales Representative With Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it filed an insider trading complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against Robert G. Cole, a former sales representative for Diebold, Inc. Diebold is an Ohio-based public company that manufacturers and sells automated teller machines, bank security systems, and electronic voting machines. The Commission charges that Cole made over $500,000 in illegal profits by using material, nonpublic information concerning revenue and order shortfalls at Diebold to trade Diebold securities.
The Commission's complaint alleges that on September 15, 2005, shortly after learning from his sales manager that revenues and orders in the Diebold's North American regional bank business were significantly below target, Cole began purchasing hundreds of soon-to-expire Diebold put options contracts, at a total cost of $70,110, anticipating that Diebold would lower its earnings forecast and the price of Diebold stock would fall. As alleged in the complaint, on September 21, 2005 -- one day after Cole completed purchasing these Diebold put option contracts -- Diebold announced that it was lowering its earnings forecasts, primarily because of a revenue shortfall in the company's North American regional bank business. After this public announcement, Diebold's stock price dropped sharply, closing at $37.27 per share, which was a 16% drop from the previous day's closing price of $44.13. Cole immediately sold the Diebold put option contracts for $579,190, realizing illicit profits of $509,080 (a 700% return).
The Commission alleges that by engaging in illegal insider trading, Cole violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Commission's complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of illicit trading profits with prejudgment interest, and civil monetary penalties.
The Commission wishes to thank the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for its valuable assistance in this matter.