The Ethical Barometer

Ex-Wife Gets a Cool Mil For Reporting Her Ex-Husband to the SEC for Insider Trading

Hell hath no fury.  Never mind that. No fury needed here — just cull through your ex’s e-mails during divorce discovery!  Karen Kaiser used to be married to David Zilkha who used to work for Microsoft who then went to work for Pequot Capital Management, which was founded by Arthur Samburg who agreed to pay the SEC a $28-million fine to settle charges that he obtained inside information from David Zilkha who was married to Karen Kaiser, oh, and there you are, full circle.

During the Kaiser/Zilkha divorce proceedings, Ms. Kaiser’s lawyer was curious as to why Mr. Zilkha received a $2.1 million payment from Pequot despite working there for a period of time just shy of 6 months.  Dutiful officer of the court that he is, the good lawyer for the wife turned over the husband’s e-mails to the SEC. Turns out the e-mails were just the ticket for the SEC to connect the dots between Samburg and wondrous Microsoft stock trades.  Once the SEC had the e-mails, well, here came the $28 million.  And, of course, there is the federal law that distributes finder’s fees to those who find and report illegal activity. 

Circumstances beyond our control always cause this stuff to come out.  The only variable is time.  The SEC has filed suit against Mr. Zilkha.  Mr. Zilkha contest those charges, vigorously.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have contested the divorce.

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