CBS and its former president must pay 30.5 million dollars for insider trading

Cbs And Its Former President Must Pay 30.5 Million Dollars For Insider Trading Cbs And Its Former President Must Pay 30.5 Million Dollars For Insider Trading
CBS-Moonves-Insider Trading, © AP/Press Association Images
Share this article

By Bobby Caina Calvan, Associated Press

CBS and its former president, Leslie Moonves, will pay 30.5 million dollars (£26.8 million) as part of an agreement with the New York attorney general’s office to compensate the network’s shareholders, as part of an insider trading investigation and for concealing sexual assault allegations against Mr Moonves.

The broadcast giant is required to pay 22 million dollars (£19.3 million) to shareholders and another six million dollars (£5.2 million) for sexual harassment and assault programmes.

Mr Moonves will have to pay 2.5 million dollars (£2.2 million), all of which will benefit stockholders who the New York attorney general said were kept in the dark about the allegations because network executives concealed the information.


At least one of those executives — one of the few privy to an internal investigation — sold millions in dollars of stock before the allegations against Mr Moonves became public.


“As a publicly traded company, CBS failed its most basic duty to be honest and transparent with the public and investors. After trying to bury the truth to protect their fortunes, today CBS and Leslie Moonves are paying millions of dollars for their wrongdoing,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement, calling attempts to mislead investors “reprehensible”.

A spokesperson for Paramount Global, which owns CBS, said it was “pleased to resolve this matter concerning events from 2018 with the New York Attorney General’s office, without any admission of liability or wrongdoing”, adding that the “matter involved alleged misconduct by CBS’s former CEO, who was terminated for cause in 2018, and does not relate in any way to the current company”.

Mr Moonves resigned from CBS on September 9, 2018.

In a document outlining the findings of its investigation, the attorney general’s office also outlined an alleged scheme by a Los Angeles police captain to try to cover up the allegations against Mr Moonves.

The police captain, who was not named in the report, tipped off CBS that a woman had lodged a complaint against Mr Moonves in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood division.

The captain then met personally with Mr Moonves and another CBS executive and fed them confidential information about the investigation. The captain also instructed the police officers investigating the complaint to “admonish” the woman not to go to the media with her allegations, according to the attorney general’s office.


When the allegations ultimately became public anyway and Mr Moonves resigned, the captain sent a note to a CBS contact saying, “We worked so hard to try to avoid this day.”

He also wrote a note to Mr Moonves saying, “I’m deeply sorry that this has happened. I will always stand with, by and pledge my allegiance to you.”

The attorney general’s office said it uncovered text messages between the police captain, CBS executives and Mr Moonves that showed efforts to prevent the complaint from becoming public.

Withholding that information from shareholders, officials said, constituted insider trading and violated state laws meant to protect investors.

CBS is also required under the deal with the attorney general’s office to reform its human resources practices around sexual harassment.

Mr Moonves has denied attacking anyone, saying in a statement at the time that “untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me”.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2023, developed by Square1 and powered by