(CN) – A California man pleaded guilty Monday in Manhattan Federal Court on charges that he tried to sell the Disney Corp.’s quarterly earnings and other confidential inside information that he got from an assistant to a high-ranking Disney executive, the FBI announced.
Yonni Sebbag pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. From March to May of this year, Sebbag obtained confidential records from Bonnie Hoxie, an assistant to a Disney executive, the FBI said.
Sebbag sent anonymous letters to investment companies and hedge funds about the financial information he had, according to the FBI. “I am willing to share this information for a fee that we can determine later,” he said in one such letter cited in the court’s bill of information. “I am sorry but I can’t disclose my identity for confidentiality reasons but we can correspond by e-mail if you would like to discuss it.”
In May, undercover FBI agents posing as hedge fund traders responded to Sebbag’s query about obtaining the information. Sebbag e-mailed them a collection of talking points for Disney executives that answered stock analysts’ questions.
Several days later, Sebbag met with two undercover agents who gave him $15,000 in cash in exchange for the information, the FBI said, adding that Sebbag agreed to provide them with further information in exchange for a 30 percent share in profits.
“Yonni Sebbag attempted to steal valuable information from the Walt Disney Company, a place known for having fun, and will now spend his next vacation as a convicted felon,” Janice Fedarcyk of New York’s FBI office said in a statement.
Sebbag is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 16. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for one count of wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.