Ellison's insider trading settlement unravels

A US court has refused to endorse a $100m (£59m) out-of-court settlement to end insider dealing allegations against Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison.

A US court has refused to endorse a $100m (£59m) out-of-court settlement to end insider dealing allegations against Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison.

Ellison had volunteered to pay the money to charity over five years to settle the claims, while denying any wrongdoing on his part.

But a judge has questioned whether Oracle shareholders should be responsible for the estimated $22.5m legal fees which the case has spawned.

The judge did not reject the proposed settlement outright but ordered a new hearing for 15 November, where further evidence will be brought.

According to a lawsuit brought by a group of shareholders, Ellison benefited from selling almost $900m worth of Oracle stock in 2001, just before the company warned of a profit shortfall.

After the earnings announcement the stock that Ellison had sold was worth just over half of its original value.

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