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Insider trading issues for Reliant Electric's takeover of Dakota Gasworks.

Dale Emerson served as the chief financial officer for Reliant Electric Company, a distributor of electricity serving portions of Montana and North Dakota. Reliant was in the final stages of planning a takeover of Dakota Gasworks, Inc. a natural gas distributor that operated solely within North Dakota. Emerson went on a weekend fishing trip with his uncle, Ernest Wallace.

Emerson mentioned to Wallace that he had been putting in a lot of extra hours at the office planning a takeover of Dakota Gasworks. On returning from the fishing trip, Wallace met with a broker from Chambers Investments and purchased $20,000 of Reliant stock. Three weeks later, Reliant made a tender offer to Dakota Gasworks stockholders and purchased 57% of Dakota Gasworks stock. Over the next two weeks, the price of Reliant stock rose 72% before leveling out. Wallace then sold his Reliant stock for a gross profit of $14,400.

1. Would registration with the SEC be required for Dakota Gasworks securities?
2. Did Emerson violate Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5?
3. What theory or theories might a court use to hold Wallace liable for insider trading?
4. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, who would be required to certify the accuracy of financial statements filed with the SEC?

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1. Would registration with the SEC be required for Dakota Gasworks securities?

Yes, though Reliant Electric Company now owns majority of the company's stocks, there are still considerable portioned owned by minorities, 47%, of total outstanding stocks.

2. Did Emerson violate Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5?

Rule 10b-5 specifically states that
"It shall be unlawful for any person, directly ...

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