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Broker who stole corporate secrets from his wife gets probation

Former Lehman Brothers employee passed insider tips to friends for cash and gifts

A former Lehman Brothers broker who stole business secrets from his wife and shared them with friends was sentenced to three years’ probation last week.

From March 2004 to July 2008, Matthew Devlin stole information on upcoming mergers from his wife, Nina, then a partner at the public relations firm Brunswick Group, by listening to her conversations and monitoring her travel schedule. He then passed this information on to a group of friends, netting them more than $2 million in profits. Devlin himself earned just $23,000 in cash and gifts for his tips, according to court documents.

Devlin, who pled guilty to securities fraud three years ago, avoided jail time largely because of his cooperation with authorities. As part of an ongoing FBI investigation, he secretly recorded conversations with his friends, which enabled authorities to convict four people and obtain civil judgments against two others.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley noted Devlin’s cooperation but strongly criticized him for his involvement in the crime. "He betrayed the trust of everyone ... All of it completely tragic and senseless for a sum of money that to his benefit was a rounding error in his compensation," Pauley said.

As part of his sentence, Devlin will also pay a $10,000 fine. His wife, who was not accused of wrongdoing in the case, was present at the sentencing.

Alanna Byrne

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