The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a lawyer serving on the board of directors of Nashville-based bank holding company Pinnacle Financial Partners with insider trading. The SEC alleges he placed his first order to purchase shares in the potential acquisition target while a board meeting to discuss the transaction was still in progress and then placed four more orders within an hour after the meeting ended. Cope purchased a total of 10,179 shares of the common stock of Avenue Financial Holdings, Inc. , another Nashville, Tennessee-based bank holding company over a seven day period in January 2016 while in possession of the material, non-public information that about a potential merger of the two banks, according to the SEC. The SEC alleges that Cope made more than $56,000 in illegal profits for the trades. Cope resigned from the Pinnacle's board in April. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee also filed a parallel criminal case against Cope on Friday.
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