Executive of Pinnacle Financial Partners James Cope Charged with Insider Trading

James Cope - Pinnacle Financial Partners - Insider TradingOn October 21, 2016 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged a James Cope, a Tennessee lawyer who served on the executive committee of the board of directors of Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners with insider trading based on nonpublic information he learned about an impending merger.

The SEC alleges that Cope obtained more than $56,000 in ill-gotten gains by purchasing securities in Pinnacle’s acquisition target, Avenue Financial Holdings, prior to the banks’ joint public announcement later that month. According to the SEC’s complaint, Cope learned confidential details about the planned merger during a board executive committee meeting on January 5, 2016, and proceeded to place his first order to purchase Avenue Financial stock while that executive committee meeting was still in progress.Cope allegedly placed four more orders within an hour after the meeting ended.

In a parallel case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee today filed a criminal charge against Cope. He lives in Murfreesboro and resigned from Pinnacle’s board in April, according to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal district court in Nashville. The complaint charges Cope with violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, thereunder.

For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956 or by email at [email protected].   This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal and compliance advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.

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