Back when Rudy Giuliani patrolled Wall Street, insider trading charges meant a perp walk and possible jail time. But former Dow Jones director David Li Kwok Po and his pals are getting off with an expensive wrist slap.
Li and his associates will pay $24 million in fines and restitution to settle charges that he leaked word of News Corp.’s buyout bid last spring to his friends, who traded on the tip. All of the defendants settled without admitting or denying the SEC charges against them. Li was fined $8.1 million, and his buddy Michael Leung Kai Hung will pay $16.2 million.
Li should be able to handle the fine — the prominent Hong Kong banker reportedly sold a home this year for $28 million. And his settlement doesn’t prevent him from making the same mistake again: The SEC’s sanction against Li allows him to sit on U.S. corporate boards in the future.
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