DALLAS (AP) — Mark Cuban told jurors in federal court that he became angry in 2004 when he learned of a pending development that would reduce the value of his investment in an Internet search company.
The CEO of Mamma.com told the billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner that the company planned to sell more shares to the public. That would dilute the value of Cuban’s stake.
“I was upset,” Cuban testified Thursday in federal court in Dallas. But he said he couldn’t recall other details of the conversation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Cuban, charging him with insider trading for dumping his stock after learning confidential information.
The CEO of Mamma.com Inc., a Canadian search-engine company, testified that he told Cuban about the planned stock offering in a phone call. Cuban, who owned 6 percent of the company, was angry because he realized he couldn’t sell his shares until the company announced the stock offering, the CEO said.
Cuban has at times jousted with Jan Folena, the SEC lawyer questioning him. At other times, he has smiled and made a few jokes, appearing relaxed on the witness stand. Experts say jurors’ impression of Cuban could factor into the outcome of the trial.
Cuban was still on the stand and hadn’t been asked about the CEO’s claim when U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater called a brief break in the testimony.
The case is a civil lawsuit. The SEC wants Cuban to pay a fine, but he isn’t charged with a crime. Cuban denies doing anything wrong.