U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20542 / April 29, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Charles R. Norton and Chad R. Norton, United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Civil Action No. 2:08-CV-541
SEC Charges Former Director of Community Bancorp and His Son With Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed an insider trading action against Charles R. Norton, a former director of Community Bancorp, and his son, Chad R. Norton, who traded in Valley Bancorp stock shortly before the June 28, 2006 announcement of Valley Bancorp's acquisition by Community Bancorp.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Las Vegas, Nevada, alleges that Charles and Chad Norton, both of Las Vegas, traded on the basis of confidential information about Community Bancorp's imminent acquisition of Valley Bancorp. Charles Norton sat on the board of directors of Community Bancorp and had access to sensitive information about the acquisition through his attendance at Community Bancorp board meetings. The complaint alleges that Charles Norton tipped Chad Norton, who traded ahead of the announcement. Charles and Chad Norton realized illegal profits of $35,064.71 from the trades.
According to the SEC's complaint, Charles Norton learned confidential information about Community Bancorp's acquisition of Valley Bancorp at a May 2006 Community Bancorp board of directors meeting and later informed his son about the acquisition. Chad Norton traded based on that inside information, buying 7,000 Valley Bancorp shares between May 16, 2006 and the June 28 announcement. On the first trading day after the announcement, Valley Bancorp's stock price increased more than 13 percent, and its trading volume increased 2,885 percent. In July 2006, Chad Norton sold the Valley Bancorp shares for a profit of $35,064.71.
To settle the SEC's charges, Charles and Chad Norton have consented, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, to a final judgment permanently enjoining them from future violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, to pay $38,433.72, representing the disgorgement of their illegal trading profits and prejudgment interest, and each to pay a civil penalty of $35,064.71. In addition, Charles Norton will be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years. The settlement is subject to approval by the court.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).