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    Insider Trading: Reducing it

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    Give your opinion as to whether or not additional laws and harsher penalties on financial fraud can eliminate or mitigate financial fraud. Support the rationale.
    Suggest three (3) new strategies that you believe the government can implement to eliminate or mitigate insider trading. Provide a rationale to support the suggestion.
    In this case study, leaked merger and acquisition information was used to enable the fraud. Determine the key internal controls needed over the communication of confidential information to outside parties, and analyze the manner in which these controls act as a deterrent to fraudulent activities.
    Pretend you are Donna Murdoch in this case study and propose an alternative plan to act on the leaked information. Next, recommend one (1) strategy to communicate the alternative plan and determine whom the plan should be communicated with. Justify the response.
    In this case study, E&Y was providing a consulting service to The Blackstone Group related to its planned acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor. Compare and contrast the different auditor's professional responsibilities between consulting engagements and audit engagements.
    Take a position on whether more legislative and/or regulatory agency oversight will increase or decrease corporate fraud. Provide a rationale to support the position.

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    Solution Preview

    Additional laws and harsher penalties can eliminate crimes if the criminal feels that there is a direct relationship between punishment and crime. According to the deterrence theory of crime if there is certainty of punishment, additional laws and harsher penalties will reduce financial fraud or even mitigate it. Additional laws can make punishments more severe and harsher penalties can increase the intensity of punishments. These can be effective only if the enforcement of these laws is efficient and those who perpetrate financial fraud feel that they cannot escape detection if they commit a financial fraud.

    First, a new strategy the government can implement to eliminate or mitigate insider trading is to establish a confidential helpline where a person can anonymously provide information relating insider trading to Securities Exchange Commission. Second, the broker firms are first to know when insider trading takes place. It should be made mandatory for broker firms to report insider trading. If they fail to provide information they should be suspended from trading. The broker firms should be given specific criteria to use to judge if insider trading has taken place. Third, cash awards should be instituted for correctly reporting insider trading operations.

    In the case study Gansman leaked the information to Donna Murdoch relating to mergers and acquisitions. The key internal controls needed over the communication of confidential information to outside parties is that the company should have a code of ethics which specifically mentions that the company does not allow its partners to share information with any outsider. ...

    Solution Summary

    The answer to this problem explains how the law addresses insider trading. The references related to the answer are also included.