Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tech billionaire Mark Cuban may soon go from making the news to breaking it. The high-profile owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks is throwing his financial clout behind a new Web site aimed at ferreting out corporate fraud. This time, though, he may be out of bounds.

The reason: Cuban has said he'll buy and sell stocks based on scoops the site uncovers, even before they're published. “There are a million ugly stories in the financial underground,” Cuban told BusinessWeek.com in an e-mail. “We plan on finding and sharing and profiting from them.” He declined to comment further.

The fledgling Web publication will have an experienced journalist at the helm. St. Louis Post-Dispatch business reporter Christopher Carey is leaving the newspaper after 17 years to become the editor of the site, called Sharesleuth.com. Carey was a finalist in 2005 for the Gerald Loeb Award, business journalism's highest honor, and he recently completed a prestigious fellowship at the University of Michigan.
As the story suggests, some are raising questions about the propriety of Cuban's idea. See also Ideoblog (citing Securities Litigation Watch).

Update: Because the site is worth keeping an eye on, Share Sleuth has been added to the list of links.