A 20-year-old British Petroleum senior oil-spill responder has been charged with insider trading of BP securities after receiving confidential, non-public information about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The SEC claim Keith A. Seilhan - an experienced crisis manager - sold his family’s BP securities after he received confidential information about the severity of the spill – which took place on April 20, 2010 along the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people in an explosion.
The price of BP securities fell significantly following the disaster, according to the SEC, which filed a complaint in a U.S. district court against Seilhan, who coordinated BP’s oil collection and cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coast.
The complaint alleges that Seilhan received information about the extent of the disaster including oil flow estimates and data on the volume of oil floating on the Gulf’s surface, indicating that BP’s liability and financial exposure would be greater than what had been disclosed publicly. “…Seilhan directed the sale of his family’s entire $1-million portfolio of BP securities over the course of two days in late April 2010,” says the report.
BP securities dropped by about 48 per cent after the sales on April 29 and April 30, 2010; reaching their lowest point in late June 2010, the SEC states.
Seilhan, of Texas, has agreed to return US$105,409 of his alleged profits, plus US$13,300 of prejudgment interest, and pay a civil penalty of US$105,409. The court has yet to approve the settlement.
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