The Securities and Exchange Commission Monday filed suit against 15 people -- including 11 NVIDIA Corp. employees -- for alleged insider trading in shares of NVIDIA.

The SEC charged the 15 bought the stock on a tip that the graphics chip maker would win a lucrative contract with software leader Microsoft Corp.

The SEC said it had already reached settlements with two of the defendants.

The SEC alleged that the defendants racked up $1.7 million in illegal profits in March 2000 after learning in a company e-mail that the firm would be supplying high-speed graphics chips for Microsoft's just-launched video game console, the X-Box.

The emp Nasdaq, well down from that high but still up more than 220 percent this year.

The SEC is seeking a return of the profits from the alleged insider trading, as well as civil penalties of up to three times the amount of those profits.