SEC charges Louisiana investor with illegally trading Callon stock

The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Louisiana investor with unlawful trading of Callon Petroleum Co. stock before the independent producer announced suspension of a significant drilling project last November.

Sep 16th, 2009

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 16 -- The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Louisiana investor with unlawful trading of Callon Petroleum Co. stock before the independent producer announced suspension of a significant drilling project last November.

In a complaint filed on Sept. 14 in US District Court for Western Louisiana, SEC said Allen W. Moss received a phone call on Nov. 26, 2008, from a Callon employee who the agency described as “Moss’s long-time live-in girlfriend” who told him that company officials were having meetings and planned an announcement later that day.

The complaint also alleged for several weeks before, the woman told him that she was worried about her job security because of the Natchez, Miss., independent’s significant investment in the drilling project, closed-door meetings within the company, and other events which she felt meant news about the project would be negative.

SEC also alleged that Moss understood the information was confidential, yet he sold short 19,000 shares of Callon before the market closed on Nov. 26 while in possession of the material nonpublic information. He covered his short sale the next day and realized a $75,400 profit, according to the complaint.

SEC said Moss settled the charges by agreeing to a final violation enjoining him from future violations of certain federal securities laws. Moss also agreed to pay a $75,400 disgorgement, $2,091 of prejudgment interest, and a $75,400 fine, SEC said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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