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A federal judge last week cleared one of the five members of the Harvard Corporation of charges that he had abused privileged information of rich, Canadian ore deposit.
The Securities and Exchange Commission had charged Thomas S. Lamont '21 had used the information to buy stock in the company that owned the deposits, the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company.
But federal judge Dudley B. Bonsal said that Lamont had bought his stock after a press conference announcing the discovery, and therefore, had not violated the law. The law prohibits "insiders"--officers, directors, and major stockholders--from using privileged information for their own gain.
The original SEC suit, filed in the spring of 1965, charged that 14 men had used advance knowledge of a copper ore strike in Timmons, Ont, to buy stock in Texas Gulf Sulphur. Lamont was initially said to be the only man not to have profited personally from the information; the original suit merely said that he had passed the information on to a friend, who had made large purchases for several banking clients. The suit was later amended, however, to charge that Lamont had bought securities for himself.
Judge Bonsal also cleared nine of Lamont's co-defendants. Only the secretary of Texas Gulf Sulphur and a Geophysicist, who had helped survey the ore deposit, were found guilty.
Lamont was a director of Texas Gulf Sulphur, and all the other defendants were either directors, officers, or employers of the company. The thirteenth man, Thomas P. O'Nell, the company's former accountant, did not file an answer to the suit and was not mentioned in Judge Bonsal's decision.
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