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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

No Jail for Disney Worker ‘Blindsided by Love’

MANHATTAN (CN) - A former secretary for a top Disney executive was given four months of home detention for giving her ex-boyfriend a confidential document that he used for insider trading.

"I was blindsided by love," Bonnie Hoxie, 34, said about being duped into a securities fraud scheme that resulted in her May 2010 arrest.

In early 2010, Hoxie's then boyfriend, Yonni Sebbag, asked her to give him a confidential document called "The Walt Disney Company Q2 Fiscal 2010 Key Topics Speaking Points."

"I'm not sending her to jail," U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said, causing Hoxie to lower her head and wipe tears from her eyes.

Hoxie's public defender, Robert Baum, said his client did not know at the time that Sebbeg planned to sell information from the document to multiple hedge funds and investment companies, including undercover FBI agents.

Sebbag was sentenced to 27 months in prison, $15,000 in forfeiture and two years of supervised release.

In September, Hoxie pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. Sebbag pleaded guilty the previous month.

Since Hoxie had only asked Sebbag to give her a "nice pocketbook" and "designer shoes," the former Disney employee does not need to pay restitution.

"I want to apologize to court and my family and friends," Hoxie said.

Judge Hellerstein sentenced Hoxie to home detention in her small, one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles.

The sentence allows Hoxie to maintain her two current waitressing jobs, for which she regularly works up to 14 hours a day.

Hellerstein also sentenced Hoxie to 100 hours of community service per year for three years of probation, which seemed to please Hoxie, a longtime activist for animal rights and AIDS prevention.

"I can't condone passing on information to an individual for private gain," Hellerstein said.

"I understand that you were manipulated," the judge added. "You did not have a lot of success in love."

Prosecutor Julian Moore did not dispute the lenient sentence.

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