Insider trading can be punished strictly by civil sanctions, or involve criminal prosecution, or both. Federal law authorizes what are known as “treble” damages if the SEC brings a civil action against you for violating insider trading rules. This means the amount you can be fined can be up to three times the amount of profits gained or losses avoided.
How you are fined is typically up to the court and determined by whether you played a direct or indirect roll in the unlawful activity.
If you are convicted in a criminal insider trading prosecution, you are subject to a maximum of $5 million in fines as an individual (up to $25 million for a business entity), up to 20 years imprisonment, or both fine and imprisonment.