United States v. O'Hagan, 521 U.S. 642, 8 (1997)

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Cite as: 521 U. S. 642 (1997)

Opinion of the Court

(1996); 17 counts of fraudulent trading in connection with a tender offer, in violation of § 14(e) of the Exchange Act, 15 U. S. C. § 78n(e), and SEC Rule 14e-3(a), 17 CFR § 240.14e- 3(a) (1996); and 3 counts of violating federal money laundering statutes, 18 U. S. C. §§ 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), 1957. See App. 13-24. A jury convicted O'Hagan on all 57 counts, and he was sentenced to a 41-month term of imprisonment.

A divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed all of O'Hagan's convictions. 92 F. 3d 612 (1996). Liability under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5, the Eighth Circuit held, may not be grounded on the "misappropriation theory" of securities fraud on which the prosecution relied. Id., at 622. The Court of Appeals also held that Rule 14e- 3(a)—which prohibits trading while in possession of material, nonpublic information relating to a tender offer—exceeds the SEC's § 14(e) rulemaking authority because the Rule contains no breach of fiduciary duty requirement. Id., at 627. The Eighth Circuit further concluded that O'Hagan's mail fraud and money laundering convictions rested on violations of the securities laws, and therefore could not stand once the securities fraud convictions were reversed. Id., at 627-628. Judge Fagg, dissenting, stated that he would recognize and enforce the misappropriation theory, and would hold that the SEC did not exceed its rulemaking authority when it adopted Rule 14e-3(a) without requiring proof of a breach of fiduciary duty. Id., at 628.

Decisions of the Courts of Appeals are in conflict on the propriety of the misappropriation theory under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5, see infra this page and 650, and n. 3, and on the legitimacy of Rule 14e-3(a) under § 14(e), see infra, at 669- 670. We granted certiorari, 519 U. S. 1087 (1997), and now reverse the Eighth Circuit's judgment.


We address first the Court of Appeals' reversal of O'Hagan's convictions under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. Following


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