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TODAY   |  October 01, 2013

Mark Cuban begins trial on insider trading charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission says billionaire Mark Cuban was involved in insider trading, selling his stock in a company before it offered a new stock, saving him a potential loss of $750,000. TODAY’s Willie Geist reports.

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>> outspoken billionaire and nba owner mark cuban will be in court today as he fights insider trading charges.

>> good to see you. opening statements in the civil case that's turned into a knockdown drag out fight between federal regulators and the billionaire turned reality tv star.

>> worst presentation ever. i'm out.

>> reporter: often larger than life , billionaire mark cuban crushed contestants on shark tank , busted moves on " dancing with the stars " and paraded referees as the owner of the dallas mavericks . but now, cuban is walking into a different court in texas as he faces federal insider trading charges.

>> i'm excited about this, to finally come to court. i won't be bullied.

>> reporter: the securities and exchange commission says cuban committed fraud in 2004 after investing in a small internet search company called mamma.com. the sec says cuban sold his entire stake in the company, 600,000 shares after learning the company's ceo was planning an offering of new stock. by selling when he did, cuban avoided losses in excess of $750,000. cuban says he did nothing wrong and any information he had was not confidential. the sec's lead counsel says we look forward to the start of the trial and cuban says he's not backing down.

>> the thing i'm really looking forward to is shedding some sun right on how the sec works.

>> reporter: he could face a penalty of $2 million. a tiny fraction of his estimated network of $2.5 billion.

>> he has to be spending millions of dollars. he could have settled but he clearly believes there's more at stake here. he is out to prove a point.

>> seven women, three men were chosen as jurors. the trial is likely to last about three weeks and cuban is expected to testify. something he says he's excited to do. that $2 million fine, he's paid $1.5 million to the nba in crimes for criticizing officials. it's a drop in the bucket.

>> interesting to follow that.

>> here it is. all right,