Feds deepen probe into corporate execs who trade their own company stock including in 10b5-1 plans

Federal prosecutors are gearing up their investigation of CEO’s and other senior management who have traded stock in their own companies when they have non-public insider information. The execs under review include industries ranging from retailing to energy to data processing. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Big Lots Inc. CEO Steven Fishman. 10b5-1 plans do permit executives to trade their own company’s stock despite possessing important nonpublic information as long as they schedule trades in advance at a special time or at a particular price. However, there can still be problems if they set up the plan at the time when they are in possession of inside information. Some of the others under scrutiny are trades of Body CentralBody; Cardtronics Inc.; semiconductor maker Micrel Inc.; floorind maker Mohawk Industries and more. The prosecution followed an article in the Wall Street Journal which published on the topic today.