Still, anything could happen. When prosecutors announced this case back in November of 2012, they said it may be the most lucrative insider trading scheme of all time ("SAC Capital ex-trader convicted of insider trading" by AP journalist Larry Neumeister). With the financial crisis of 2008 only a few years removed from the collective consciousness, the Securities and Exchange Commission can't afford to screw around and they will be sending a strong message. The next person on the list is SAC Capital's owner, Steven A. Cohen.
While it's always tragic to see smart people throw their lives away purely in the name of the almighty dollar, accountability has to be the priority in a case such this one. Under Title 18, Section 471 of the United States Code, counterfeiting currency is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 15 years. What insider trading is, is simply white-collar counterfeiting. Rather than earning money the honest way, counterfeiters coerce an artificial loophole into the system to their advantage. Similarly, inside traders impose their own loopholes to the detriment of others. Therefore, the punishment should at least be comparable to what we have in place for counterfeiting.
Insider trading brings the integrity of our financial system to complete disrepute. It's not just a matter of stiffing an individual or a series of small business entities. Millions of Americans have their retirement funds and other personal investments riding on the stability of the stock market. While one may personally find the markets to be of disrepute to begin with, it does not allow anyone the blatant right to manipulate it for their own gain.
But perhaps the real victim here is the truth. In reality, Mathew Martoma is an oversized small fish in a pond full of angry piranhas. I don't have hard evidence to support my claim so there's no need to expound upon it further : all I can say is, look at the obvious. Wall Street rewards avarice so long as you keep things on the "down low." Fail to do that, however, and you'll be the first one thrown under a very big bus called the S.E.C. This "eat 'em alive" culture has been in place since the inception of stock market trading and I somehow doubt that things have gotten better, "regulation" or no regulation.
In the end, the crackdown on insider trading is a welcome move by government officials. Just keep in mind who's watching the watchers...