Business

SemGroup official settles trading complaint

Gary Navarro, president of Wichita oil marketer and buyer MV Purchasing, has agreed to pay $167,000 to settle an insider-trading complaint over his actions during the collapse of oil distribution giant SemGroup.

At the time of SemGroup's bankruptcy in July 2008, Navarro headed up the Wichita office of SemGroup subsidiary SemCrude.

In the complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Navarro learned of SemGroup's financial difficulty the week before it became public.

He sold his shares in the company on July 14, 2008, according to the SEC. On July 17, 2008, the company warned publicly that it was experiencing liquidity problems and considering bankruptcy. The share price dropped 65 percent.

Selling early avoided an $83,602 loss, according to the SEC.

Navarro, according to the complaint, neither admits nor denies guilt but has agreed to repay the avoided loss, plus an equal amount of interest and penalty.

Navarro could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The SEC has pursued a number of complaints against SemGroup officials who sold shares before the company's troubles became public.

SemCrude collected oil worth $140 million from Kansas producers in the weeks before the company's bankruptcy.

SemGroup, founded in 2000 in Tulsa, and two dozen subsidiaries sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing billions of dollars in oil-futures losses and debt. It emerged from bankruptcy in December.

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