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Cuban says insider trading case was personal

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 4:55 PM ET
Mark Cuban: Glad I can afford to stand up to SEC
Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 | 4:50 PM ET
Mark Cuban is "glad he can be the person who can afford to stand up to the SEC." Cuban also says the SEC needs to "treat American citizens the way they should be treated," reports CNBC"s Andrea Day.

After being acquitted of insider trading charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, billionaire Mark Cuban told CNBC the case was personal and reiterated that he did nothing wrong.

"It took seven years of my life ... when the government is chasing you, it's not something that you ignore and just—you think about it. It consumes you all the time," said Cuban, an investor and owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks. "And what really made it personal was how it was handled in court."

(Read more: Mark Cuban cleared in insider trading case)

The SEC accused Cuban of insider trading by alleging he had used a private tip to sidestep losses by selling shares of an Internet company. After he was cleared last week, though, Cuban said the SEC lawyers approached him to say "it wasn't personal."

Though he had the option to settle with the SEC, Cuban said he declined to go that route because "I did nothing wrong."

Cuban said a few days after he sold shares of Mamma.com in 2004, he was contacted by SEC investigators looking into the Internet search company. He said he cooperated with the investigators to "help them" investigate the company, not knowing they would seek to use the information against him.

But the only evidence used against Cuban, he said, came from him. Cuban said the SEC had documents that would have vindicated him, but he said the agency claimed to have "lost them" for years.

The problem with the SEC is that they think like lawyers, essentially seeking to bring about cases without thought as to whether it would instill confidence in the market, even though that's the organization's goal, he said.

"It's a lawyer-driven organization. They think like prosecutors. They act like lawyers and that has to change," Cuban said. "As long as it's lawyer driven, they'll never have confidence in the markets. They'll never have consumer confidence increase in the markets. That has to change."

Asked for a comment in response to Cuban's criticisms, the SEC sent CNBC.com the following statement.

"We respect the jury's decision. While the verdict in this particular case is not the one we sought, it will not deter us from bringing and trying cases where we believe defendants have violated the federal securities laws," wrote SEC spokesman John Nester.

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSandholm