According to the St Louis Business Journal, chief accounting officer Christopher Knibb sold his shares at an average $9.05 on February 8, which was valued at $53,000.
The St Louis Business Journal reported that Knibb told the Wall Street Journal he had sold off his shares because he planned to purchase a Florida condo, though the deal did not come to fruition.
He said he was unaware at the time of a customer defaulting on a coal purchase contract.
“I wouldn’t have sold shares if I had non-public information,” Knibb told the paper, noting that the sale was given the green light by Patriot’s chief financial officer and general counsel.
Knibb no longer works for Patriot. He now serves as chief accounting officer for mail order pharmacy firm Express Scripts.
The St Louis Business Journal noted that Knibb had made his way into WSJ as part of a feature on how corporate insider trading shifts in the time prior to a company’s bankruptcy filing. He was one of seven individuals mentioned.
Patriot’s serious financial difficulties came to light in late 2011, when the coal markets saw a significant drop and demand and prices fell.
By the start of 2012, the Missouri-based producer had cut 1200 jobs – or a quarter of its staff – and took large slices from its production plan.
The producer ultimately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York on July 9, 2012.
At the time, it listed more than $1 billion in assets and liabilities.
The case was ultimately moved to the US Bankruptcy Court in St Louis.
Patriot was initially spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007. The following year it acquired Arch spin-off Magnum Coal.