Mark Cuban's civil trial for insider trading is set to begin
, with jury selection already started on Monday.
The self-made, charismatic billionaire, who owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team, is accused of selling 600,000 shares of a little-known Internet search company – Mamma.com Inc., back in 2004.
The sell-off came just days before the company planed an equity offering of the stock that would dilute his share of the company. At the time, he owned a 6.3 percent stake in the firm.
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The 55-year-old Cuban reportedly received information within days of the company's equity offering from Mamma.com's then Chief Executive Guy Fauré, which prosecutors say prompted his selloff of the stock.
Two days after Cuban began selling off his shares, the stock price dropped by 9.3 percent, which saved Cuban from suffering an estimated $750,000 loss if he had held onto the stock, Reuters reported
During his arrival in court on Tuesday, Cuban told reporters, "I won't be bullied. The thing I'm really looking forward to is shedding some sunlight on how the SEC works," CNBC reported
In his defense, Cuban has consistently maintained that he did nothing wrong and was under no obligation not to trade upon receiving whatever information he did from the company, claiming the material was not confidential, CNBC noted.
The trial follows a 2009 SEC lawsuit against Cuban over the matter which was initially dismissed only to be revived in 2010 by a federal appeals court.
Both Cuban and Fauré are expected to testify in the civil trial that will likely last approximately ten days.
Having made his fortune through launching and subsequently selling a software company prior to the dot.com bust, Cuban has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine
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In addition to being the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban is also known for cohosting ABC's TV series "Shark Tank," in which he and four other venture capitalists are pitched ideas from aspiring entrepreneurs.
Cuban has also appeared on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," HBO's now-cancelled show "Entourage" and "Real Time with Bill Maher," among other programs.
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