Kodak Must Turn Over Insider-Trading Evidence, N.Y. AG Says

New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a New York court to order Eastman Kodak and its chief executive officer, James Continenza, to turn over evidence in advance of a planned insider-trading lawsuit against them.

Kodak and Continenza violated New York securities law when he bought 46,737 shares of the company’s stock on June 23, James claimed in court papers filed in state court in Manhattan Tuesday. James said she “has determined to commence an action” against the company and Continenza. The company disclosed James’s threatened lawsuit last month.

Continenza’s alleged trades came about a month before the stock soared on the Trump White House’s announcement of a deal to loan the company $765 million to produce drug ingredients amid the coronavirus pandemic. The deal was later put on hold.

James asked a court to order Continenza and Kodak General Counsel Roger Byrd to provide testimony and documents relating to the trades.

In a statement, Kodak denied Continenza had insider information and said his trades were approved at the time by Byrd and later by outside lawyers who conducted an independent investigation.

“Importantly, Mr. Continenza has purchased Kodak stock in virtually every open window period -- and has never sold a single share,” Ellen Davis, an outside spokeswoman for the company, said in the statement. Davis said Kodak offered to have witnesses meet with James, but the attorney general declined the company’s cooperation.

“We are confident that the facts and the law are on our side and are prepared to present our case in court if there becomes a need to do so,” Davis said.

The case is James v. Eastman Kodak Co., New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

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