The complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) alleges that one of the defendants - former Lehman Brothers broker Matthew Devlin - traded on non-public information about corporate mergers, tender offers and stock repurchases provided by his wife, who worked for a public relations firm handling the deals.
He is also accused of passing the information to colleagues and friends who found it so lucrative that they referred to the couple as a "golden goose", the SEC said.
The watchdog added that Mr Devlin attempted to hide his insider deals by using a third party "tippee" to buy stocks on his behalf.
Many of the other defendants also tried to conceal their trades by using various accounts not directly linked with Mr Devlin or Lehmans, the investment bank that collapsed in September.
As a reward for his tip-offs, Mr Devlin is alleged to have received numerous luxury gifts, including a widescreen TV and driving lessons in a Porsche.