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Ex-Delta Petroleum CEO Sued by SEC Over Alleged Tips

Roger Parker, the former chief executive officer of Denver-based Delta Petroleum Corp., was sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over claims he told friends that Tracinda Corp. would purchase a stake in Delta before making a public announcement.

Michael Van Gilder, an insurance executive, was sued last month by the SEC in federal court in Denver over claims he traded on confidential information from Parker related to a plan by Tracinda, a Beverly Hills-based private investment firm, to purchase a 35 percent stake in Delta Petroleum.

The SEC’s complaint was updated yesterday to add Parker, of Englewood, Colorado, as a defendant and claims that his tips generated more that $890,000 in illicit profit, according to a statement from the commission today.

“Parker was entrusted with highly confidential information, and he betrayed that trust to help line the pockets of his close friends,” Sanjay Wadhwa, deputy chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit in New York, said in the statement. “Company officials who exploit their insider status must realize that they do so at the risk of inviting SEC scrutiny.”

The SEC said Parker and Van Gilder violated federal securities laws and seeks disgorgement of the alleged ill-gotten gains, penalties, and an order barring Parker from serving as an officer or director of a public company, according to the statement.

Parker couldn’t immediately be reached for comment because his phone number is unpublished and court records don’t indicate whether he has a lawyer.

Delta Petroluem last year filed for bankruptcy, reorganized and in August emerged from bankruptcy as Par Petroleum, according to a court filing.

The case is SEC v. Gilder, 12-cv-02839, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado (Denver).

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