MANHATTAN (CN) – A former assistant to a top Disney executive was arrested for allegedly trying to sell the company’s quarterly earnings to buyers who wanted to trade on inside information.
Prosecutors say Bonnie Hoxie, 33, who has worked as a secretary for Disney’s PR chief since 2007, passed along inside information such as quarterly earnings statements to her boyfriend, Yonnie Sebbag aka Jonathan Cyrus, who was also arrested for his alleged role in the crime.
Sebbag, 29, then tried to sell the inside information to investors by sending anonymous letters to hedge funds and investment companies, according to the complaint in Federal Court.
Prosecutors say undercover FBI agents posed as hedge fund traders and offered to buy information from Hoxie and Sebbag.
Three days before the May 11 public announcement of Disney’s second quarter earnings, the pair sent a confidential document titled “The Walt Disney Company Q2 Fiscal 2010 Key Topics Speaking Points” to the undercover agents, according to the complaint.
Hoxie and Sebbag also tipped off the agents that Disney’s earnings per share had beaten analysts’ expectations about two hours before the announcement, the complaint states.
The agents allegedly met Hoxie and Sebbag on May 14 to pay them $15,000 for the information, and Sebbag offered to continue providing information in exchange for a 30 percent share of the profits.
Hoxie and Sebbag each face 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
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