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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Man Sentenced to 2 Years for Disney Stock Scheme

(CN) - A California man who tried to sell Disney Corp.'s quarterly earnings was sentenced to two years of prison in Manhattan District Court on Friday, prosecutors announced.

Yonni Sebbag pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to commit fraud. He had been charged with trying to hawk Disney's confidential information that he gleaned from Bonnie Hoxie, an assistant to a Disney executive between March and May of 2010.

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 2009, undercover FBI agents posing as hedge fund traders responded to Sebbag's advertisement. 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.

"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 following his guilty plea last August.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood sentenced Sebbag to two years of supervised release and $15,000 forfeiture. His co-defendant, Bonnie Hoxie, is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 22.

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