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The SEC is filing civil charges against five individuals for allegedly illegally trading on a tip one man received while at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, an odd instance in which the organization's confidentiality rules dovetail nicely with securities law. According to The Wall Street JournalTimothy McGee, a financial adviser at Ameriprise Financial Services, allegedly learned of a merger at  Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. from a company employee at his meeting, and he and several family members then traded on the info for a net gain of $1.8 million.

Alcoholics Anonymous, of course, operates by guaranteeing that all members keep the identity of other alcoholics to themselves, and that they keep "personal disclosures" of other members confidential. Seems to us like the SEC ought to have an easy time pointing out that the information is "non-public," given McGee shouldn't have even told anyone outside of the meeting what he heard, let alone traded stock on it.

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