SEC Charges Ex-BP Official for Insider Trading During Deepwater Debacle

Developing: The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Keith Seilhan with trading on non-public information obtained during the time he was helping BP (NYSE:BP) clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon wreck.

The regulator alleges Seilhan traded based on "information on the extent of the evolving disaster, including oil flow estimates and data on the volume of oil floating on the surface of the Gulf." He is accused of selling about $1 million worth of shares his family owned in a move that avoided a 48% loss.

"Seilhan sold his family's BP securities after he received confidential information about the severity of the spill that the public didn't know," said Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the Division of Enforcement's Market Abuse Unit.

"Corporate insiders must not misuse the material nonpublic information they receive while responding to unique or disastrous corporate events, even where they stand to suffer losses as a consequence of those events."