US court to weigh lawmakers' immunity in trading investigations

June 13, 2016 08:05
1 minute read.

A federal appeals court will consider on Monday whether a US congressional committee and one of its former staff are immune from having to cooperate with an insider-trading investigation.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals plans to hear arguments on enforcing two subpoenas that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent to Congress as part of its investigation. The arguments are scheduled for about 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) in New York City.

The case is a test of how far securities enforcers may go as they try to police the murky world of so-called "political intelligence," in which firms seek to gather and sell information for traders.

The SEC is investigating the trading of Humana Inc stock in 2013 ahead of a government announcement about physician reimbursement rates, which affect the revenue of Humana and other health insurers.

No charges have been brought in the insider-trading probe. The SEC said in court papers that it believes a congressional staff member at the time, Brian Sutter, "may have been a source" of an early leak to a lobbyist at the firm Greenberg Traurig who then passed the information to a Height Securities analyst, who in turn alerted clients.

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