The SEC's complaint said the illicit trading happened between July 2010 and July 2012, with the last merger involving the acquisition of Baton Rouge, La.-based Shaw Group by Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.
Big deals create opportunities for those who have the information first to cash in on a stock's direction before others, said David Hoyle, The Shaw Group's lead outside director and North Carolina's top tax official.
"Anytime there's some kind of merger opportunity, there's always folks that have the opportunity because they know more than somebody else," Hoyle said.
Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio
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