New law needed to define insider trading: Spitzer

Eliot Spitzer

Former "Sheriff of Wall Street" Eliot Spitzer told CNBC on Monday that a law defining insider trading should be passed.

"I think it is time for a statutory definition of insider trading," the former New York attorney general and governor said. "[In] tipper-tippee liability, there's this area of ambiguity. That's not good. We need certainty and clarity so people know what the rules are."

In a landmark ruling last month, a federal appeals court overturned the convictions of two former hedge fund managers charged with making illegal trades in technology stocks. The ruling held that prosecutors needed to prove a trader knew the original source of nonpublic information received a benefit in exchange for the tip.

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"[In] tipper, tippee liability there's this area of ambiguity. That's not good. We need certainty and clarity so people know what the rules are," Spitzer said Monday in a " Squawk Box " interview.

"Define the lines and then play by that line. That's it. It's very simple," he continued. "We don't need regulations. We don't need uncertainty. Establish a bright line and live by it."

Spitzer resigned as governor in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal.

-Reuters contributed to this report.

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