by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
insider trading, investors


If You're Trying To Sell Insider Info, Perhaps Don't Randomly Email Dozens Of Investors

from the protip dept

Perhaps an idea for a future Disney movie could be what happens when a clueless Disney employee tries to sell insider secrets to investors for a cut of the profits. Apparently, a woman who was the assistant to Disney's head of corporate communications concocted a scheme whereby she would get early access to Disney's earnings report, tell her boyfriend about it, and he would sell that info to investors for trading purposes. Reading the details of what went down after that shows a couple of pretty clueless, bungling, would-be insider traders. The boyfriend emailed 33 separate investors with the offer, apparently not realizing that a bunch of them would pass the info on to the authorities. In the end, the only three "investors" who agreed to buy were all undercover FBI agents.

And, to make the situation worse, the woman wasn't even able to get the earnings report that was the key to the whole offer. It actually sounds like her boyfriend just guessed the earnings-per-share number, after she was unable to get the document and the clock was ticking down to the close of trading the day before the earnings announcement was to be made. As time was running out, there was this fun email exchange between the couple:
"Is it coming or what," Sebbag e-mailed Hoxie 51 minutes before the closing bell that day. "Patience my dear," she responded. "It is fully used," he wrote back.

Hoxie then wrote: "What would you suggest I do. If I could wave my magic wand and give you what you want -- I would. However, since that is not going to happen, I suggest you call on your inner Buddhist -- and CHILL the f' out."
In the end, not surprisingly, the couple were arrested for conspiracy and wire fraud. My guess is they got the idea for how insider trading scams work by watching a few too many Disney movies...

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