how is insider trading detected

How is Insider Trading Detected? All You Need to Know

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently been stricter in its punishment of insider trading, issuing fines to corporations and even sending individuals to jail. Where, then, do they get their information about rulebreakers? How do they decide who to charge with a crime? This article explains how the SEC monitors insider trading and takes action against offenders.


recent report by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that insider trading enforcement is on the rise.While this may seem like good news at first, it actually highlights the critical need for expert knowledge when dealing with securities. This is especially true for the retail investor, who may find themselves lost in the maze of rules and regulations. The initial step in preventing illegal insider trading? Learn the fine print before you commit. So that you can avoid any problems.

What is Insider Trading?

For more information on the SEC’s stringent insider trading rules, visit the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

For instance, if your position at the company grants you access to confidential information, such as being an officer or director. Then, for a minimum of a year after you leave your job, you can’t buy or sell the company’s stock. Restriction of activities after the termination of employment. It is illegal to acquire corporate shares from a corporate officer or director before they are made available to the general investing public.

Related: The dark web is where insider traders go to avoid getting caught. You can conceal your true identity and remain anonymous in this way. Trading stocks and other securities can be done on a variety of darknet markets. Just make sure you check everything out and stick to reliable sources. Read on to learn how to get away with insider trading using the dark web.

How the SEC Tracks Insider Trading?

insider trading tracking
Insider Trading Tracking

Insider trading allegations are looked into by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC also pursues criminal and civil penalties against those responsible for violations. The SEC keeps tabs on insider trading by keeping an eye out for large stock trades that occur close to market peaks.

It may be a sign that insiders are selling shares in anticipation of bad news from the company. The SEC monitors insider trading in another way by analyzing the stock purchases and sales of directors and officers of publicly traded companies who are required to file reports with the agency.

The Division of Market Abuse and its Analysis and Detection Center

In the wake of 9/11, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in an effort to prevent future corporate scandals. Companies that trade on public exchanges must establish an ethics code and designate an ethics officer to enforce it per the Act. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established in 2002 after the Securities Exchange Act was passed by Congress. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) monitors and enforces federal securities laws, including those that prohibit insider trading, for the benefit of investors.

The Division of Market Abuse is a part of the Enforcement Division. It investigates violations through its Analysis and Detection Center. There are several types of insider trading, such as peeking at confidential information or knowing that someone who can give out confidential information will be doing so in advance. These different forms have different penalties depending on how much time has elapsed since the person first obtained inside information. Some states have also banned short-selling during bankruptcy proceedings to avoid market manipulation.

SEC’s Advanced Relational Trading Enforcement Metrics Investigation System

insider trading investigation system
Insider Trading Investigation System

The investigational resources available to uncover insider trading have developed in tandem with the increase in such cases. The SEC now monitors and analyzes information from over a hundred different sources, such as government agencies, private businesses, industry analysts, and social media platforms.

The Commission’s Advanced Relational Trading Enforcement Metrics Investigation System (ARTEMIS) takes in data and runs it through complex algorithms to identify irregular patterns. It also keeps an eye out for unusual trading alerts posted by FINRA or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

If ARTEMIS detects a possible violation, it can notify authorities immediately with all the relevant information. Information such as the physical location of the potential breach, the items traded, the total number of shares traded, and the identities of those involved in the trades, are provided. These tools are indispensable because they allow us to monitor groups of criminals who share inside information and work together to make illegal gains from it.

The Trader-Based Approach To Insider Trading Investigations

the securities and exchange commission

There are a few different approaches that the SEC can take when it comes to investigating insider trading. One of the most common is called the trader-based approach, which relies on having suspicions about a person who is buying or selling stocks in a company and then looking at what they are doing. If there is some sort of connection between them and an insider, then they do further investigation.

SEC used this method successfully in many investigations and has led to many convictions. Because it does not depend on proving that someone knew inside information beforehand, the other common way for the SEC to investigate someone for insider trading is by monitoring communication. With company insiders, including phone calls, emails, or any other communication that could have given them access to insider information.

Learn about some of the most noteworthy incidents of when people traded on information that the general public lacked.

Implications for Legal Departments

A recent crackdown by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has legal departments across the country on high alert. The agency is working tirelessly to ferret out illegal trading that is detrimental to our national economy. In order to avoid an insider trading scandal, companies should educate employees on the importance of adhering to insider trading laws and policies. 

Doing so will protect your company from unnecessary risk and scrutiny. Employees who are found in violation of insider trade laws can face stiff penalties, including prison time, fines, and forfeiture of profits gained from illegal trades.

The Role of the SEC in Detecting Insider Trading

One of the SEC’s key roles in detecting insider trading is its responsibility to monitor trading activity on Wall Street.

Additionally, the SEC carries out fair investigations and has the power to prosecute people who violate federal securities laws, particularly those involving insider trading.

The purpose of many insider trading investigations is to gather evidence against suspected wrongdoers, who are then subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.

How Does the SEC Use Tip-offs to Detect Insider Trading?

The SEC has a list of tip-offs that they use to detect insider trading. These are the types of things someone would do if they had inside information about an upcoming event or release.

The SEC will often use tips from the public to detect insider trading. Tips come in the form of complaints, suspicious activity reports, and tips about corporate misconduct.

Most often, an SEC investigator finds a potential tip-off when s/he monitors financial transactions electronically and sees a stock trade being executed at an unusual time for that particular company’s stock.

How the SEC Uses Trading Data to Detect Insider Trading?

The SEC has a variety of techniques at its disposal to identify insider trading. Trading data is one of these tools. It’s a powerful tool that’s not only used by the SEC but also by major banks, hedge funds, and brokers. They utilize it for its predictive capabilities and to analyze trades in real time. The data includes information on when a trade took place, where it happened, who initiated the trade, and how much money was traded.

First, the SEC aggregates trade data from exchanges to search for suspicious patterns or large trades. Second, they examine individual filings with respect to the trading activities of insiders. Finally, they study the behavioral evidence to identify a pattern of behavior that is inconsistent with pre-existing information.

How Does the SEC Investigate Potential Insider Trading Cases?

The SEC looks into alleged cases of insider trading using a number of techniques, including the tip-offs it gets. These can range from company executives or directors themselves or an outsider who’s aware of an impending takeover that isn’t yet public knowledge.

The SEC may also use a number of tools at its disposal – financial record analysis, surveillance, wiretaps, and more – to try and gather evidence. Other agencies may also be brought in, including those tasked with countering national security threats.

How the SEC investigates potential cases of insider trading is an effective example of multi-agency cooperation. This helps keep white-collar crime in check and protects investors, who, after all, need to be kept in mind when ensuring that fair practices are being maintained.

Causes of Insider Trading

Insider trading is often caused by a lack of transparency. Certain stakeholders are not privy to all the information, so they trade on that information, giving them an unfair advantage. The lack of regulation on insider trading is one of the key reasons for the uptick in insider trading. The SEC is responsible for regulating securities and laws that govern public companies, but they are limited in what they can do when it comes to private companies.

Poor corporate governance could also lead an employee to trade on information about their company before it becomes public knowledge. Insider trading is caused by a lack of compliance. This can happen when an insider has access to privileged information and is not following the rules in place to protect this information. Weak internal control structures are what enable company insiders to engage in various types of misconduct without detection from the board, senior management, or external auditors.

What are the Consequences of Insider Trading?

A conviction for insider trading can ruin your career and put your entire reputation on the line. However, you should also consider the possibility of jail time, fines, and restitution.

Individuals who are found guilty of insider trading may be subject to penalties of up to $5 million and sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Business firms found guilty of insider trading may be fined up to $25 million, and anyone who took part in the plan may receive a 20-year prison term.

Even worse, you could receive a sentence that includes both fines and jail time for yourself or other company members.

The Penalties for Insider Trading

A person found guilty of insider trading may be ordered by the court to pay back all the gains they received from their illegal transaction. A fine of up to three times the realized profits may also be requested by the SEC from the court. Due to the fact that insider trading is a white-collar crime, offenders may also be subject to jail and other legal repercussions.

State law may also give businesses the right to continue pursuing legal action against a company’s control, executive, or other officers. These rules typically allow for the recovery of earnings as well as a fine.


It’s critical to have a firm grasp of insider trading regulations if you work in the financial markets. Before acting on information, it is advisable to seek advice from a financial professional or attorney if you are unsure of whether it is material or nonpublic. It is probably best to stay away from anything that borders on insider trading.


Who Investigates Insider Trading?

Insider trading offenses have been one of the SEC’s top enforcement priorities for investigation and prosecution.

When was Insider Trading Made Illegal?

On November 19, 1988, the Insider Trading Act was officially enacted. This law was created as a result of an increase in prominent insider trading cases and a rise in trade values.

Where to Find Insider Trading Info?

All filings relating to insider stock purchases and sales are freely accessible to the general public through the SEC’s Edgar database.

How Often Does Insider Trading Occur?

According to estimates, insider trading occurs once every five mergers and acquisitions and once every twenty quarterly results announcements.

Disclaimer: This article and the information contained herein are not intended to be a source of legal advice. We don’t promote any illegal activities such as insider trading or any other crime.