Tags: walt disney | insider trading

Guilty Plea in Disney Insider Trading Case

Monday, 23 Aug 2010 11:53 AM

A man accused with his girlfriend of operating a "brazen" insider trading scheme involving Walt Disney Co stock pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges on Monday.

Yonni Sebbag, 30, faces a possible 27- to 33-month prison term under federal sentencing guidelines. Sebbag, a citizen of Morocco, has been held in custody since his May 26 arrest.

Last May, prosecutors accused Sebbag and his girlfriend Bonnie Hoxie, an assistant to Disney's corporate communications chief, of trying to sell inside information about the company to more than 30 U.S. and European hedge funds. Several funds reported these efforts to authorities.

At Monday's hearing in Manhattan federal court, Sebbag told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Cott: "From March 2010 to May 26, 2010, I agreed with others to commit securities fraud and wire fraud.

"I obtained confidential non-public information about the Walt Disney Company and sent it to outside investors by email."

Investigators alleged that Hoxie used her position to gain confidential information about Disney, and that she and Sebbag would then email the hedge funds, hoping to trade the information for fees.

This information included details about upcoming financial results and possible advanced talks over a sale of Disney's ABC television network, prosecutors said. Disney in May said references to such talks "were and are false."

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed separate civil charges in May.

While it was unclear from the complaints what motivated the duo, the SEC said Hoxie told Sebbag she had had her eye on a $700 Stella McCartney designer handbag and a pair of shoes.

The criminal case was brought in New York rather than Los Angeles because many of the hedge funds were in New York.

The case is U.S. v Hoxie et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-mag-1113.


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A man accused with his girlfriend of operating a brazen insider trading scheme involving Walt Disney Co stock pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges on Monday. Yonni Sebbag, 30, faces a possible 27- to 33-month prison term under federal sentencing guidelines....
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Monday, 23 Aug 2010 11:53 AM
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