United States v. McPhail, No. 15-2106 (1st Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendant, a tile salesman, received material, nonpublic information from a corporate inside and then passed that information along to friends, who used it to obtain substantial trading gains. After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of committing securities fraud and conspiring to commit securities fraud. Defendant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence in the record to support his conviction, where he was neither a corporate insider nor a trader of securities. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the evidence was sufficient to show that Defendant knowingly breached a duty of confidence; (2) the district court’s instructions did not improperly shift the burden of proof or misstate the state of mind element of the securities fraud offense; and (3) the evidence was sufficient to show that Defendant anticipated receiving a benefit as a result of his disclosure.