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Mark Cuban, the eccentric Dallas Mavericks owner and self-made Internet billionaire, was charged today with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cuban, 50, is accused of illegally selling 600,000 shares of stock in, a company he himself had described as an "up and coming search engine" in a blog posting from 2005.

Problem is, a Montreal-based start-up now known as Copernic, began raising capital in June 2004 through a process known as a PIPE ("private investment in public equity") offering. Cuban knew of the offering beforehand and sold his shares hours before it became official, prosecutors allege