The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has closed the final chapter in the “Golden Goose” story.
Yesterday, the agency announced that it has reached settlements with the remaining two defendants in an insider-trading case known as the “Golden Goose” case, which concerned secrets leaked from a public relations firm.
In the case, Matthew Devlin, a former broker at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., stole business secrets about upcoming mergers from his wife, Nina, a PR executive at Brunswick Group. Nina worked on PR plans for mergers. Devlin obtained inside information by listening to Nina’s conversations and monitoring her travel schedule. He then passed the information onto his friends, netting them more than $2 million in profits. The inside information concerned deals such as Novartis AG’s purchase of Eon Labs, InBev NV’s purchase of Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Electronic Arts Inc.’s bid for Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. Devlin’s friends called Nina the “Golden Goose” because of the valuable information they were able to get from her without her knowledge.
Devlin pleaded guilty to the scheme in 2008 and was sentenced to three years’ probation last March after cooperating with authorities to nab the other scheme’s participants. Nina Devlin was never implicated in the wrongdoing. Two other traders, Jamil Bouchareb and Daniel Corbin, pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the scheme and were sentenced to two-and-a-half and six months in prison, respectively. And yesterday, the SEC announced that Bouchareb agreed to pay $1.05 million, and Corbin agreed to pay $191,000 to settle the SEC’s civil cases.
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