With Martha Stewart’s release from prison imminent, federal regulators are negotiating a deal with her lawyers that could make it easier to crack down on future cases of insider trading, Newsweek reports. The talks stem from civil insider-trading charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2003 over Stewart’s sale of about 4,000 shares of ImClone before it released information that caused the stock to nose-dive. The charges could bar her for life from running Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, if they are upheld by the courts.
Under terms of a deal in the early stages of discussion she could return to her role as CEO in five years or possibly less. Newsweek says the SEC wants to use Stewart’s case to expand its ability to charge people with insider-trading abuses in the future.