A journalist convicted for using confidential information.
R. Foster Winans wrote the column “Heard on the Street” for the Wall Street Journal from 1982-1984. He was investigated by the SEC for using or leaking non-public information he gathered as a reporter for the purpose of making financial investments. He was criminally charged with insider trading. Winans had admitted that he made money from leaking info, but pleaded not guilty to criminal charges, claiming that the insider trading laws were not designed to target journalists. Several commentators have said that regardless of whether it was illegal (it was – his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 1987 case called Carpenter v. U.S.), it was certainly unethical. Winans himself, in his book Trading Secrets, acknowledged that the conduct was “technically unethical for a journalist.”
October 17, 2011