A former director at Pinnacle Financial Partners who pleaded guilty to insider trading agreed to pay a heftier fine after a judge rejected the initial penalty as being too low.
Judge Aleta Trauger on Friday accepted James Cope's amended plea deal to pay a $200,000 fine, according to court documents. Cope was to pay a $55,000 fine during his scheduled sentencing last month, but the judge determined that his $12 million in net worth and $37,000 monthly income qualified him for a steeper fine, according to The Murfreesboro Post.
The judge had ordered Cope's attorney, Aubrey Harwell Jr., and prosecutors to reach a new agreement. Harwell was unavailable for comment on Monday.
Cope in October reached an agreement in the U.S. District for the Middle District of Tennessee to plead guilty to one count of insider trading. He received a two-year probationary sentence that included nine months of home confinement. Cope faced up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $5 million fine.
In April, the $11 billion-asset Pinnacle said that an unnamed director bought stock in Avenue Financial Holdings in January after he learning the companies' merger talks during an executive meeting. Cope resigned from Pinnacle's board around the time that the company disclosed the dealings.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is pursuing a separate case against Cope, claiming he used information to buy about 10,000 Avenue shares and received more than $56,000 after the company agreed to be sold to Pinnacle. Pinnacle bought Avenue earlier this year.