The Securities and Exchange Commission said that Keith A. Seilhan,
47, will settle the case without admitting or denying the charges.
Mary McNamara, an attorney for Seilhan, said four years had passed
since the spill, and her client wanted to "avoid further distraction
and protracted litigation" by settling the matter.
"Mr. Seilhan is widely respected for his work helping to lead the
cleanup and containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,"
This marks the second case that the SEC has brought in connection
with the April 20, 2010, explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.
The accident killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore spill
in U.S. history.
In 2012, the SEC levied what at the time was the third-largest
penalty in agency history of $525 million against BP over
allegations it mislead investors about just how much oil was gushing
into the Gulf of Mexico.
In this latest complaint, the SEC said Seilhan took advantage of the
fact that he knew the true oil flow estimates and other crucial data
and used it to sell off his family's $1 million portfolio of BP
The sell-off allowed him to avoid losses of $100,000, the SEC added.
After his trades were completed, the price of BP American Depository
Shares tanked by 48 percent over time.
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"Corporate insiders must not misuse the material non-public
information they receive while responding to unique or disastrous
corporate events, even where they stand to suffer losses as a
consequence of those events," said Daniel Hawke, the head of the SEC
Enforcement Division's market abuse unit.
Of the amount that Seilhan will pay, $105,409 will go toward a civil
penalty. Another $105,409 in ill-gotten gains will also be returned,
and he will pay more than $13,000 in prejudgment interest.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Eric Beech)
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