MANHATTAN (CN) – A tax attorney pleaded guilty to federal charges in a $4.8 million insider trading conspiracy. Eric Holzer, who also is a CPA, profited off tips on corporate mergers from his friend, Matthew Devlin, a former Lehman Brothers salesman, the SEC said.
Holzer, a former associate in the Paul Hastings international law firm admitted he made more than $119,000 from illegal trading.
Devlin got confidential information from his wife, a public relations executive with the Brunswick Group, and passed along the information – without her knowledge – to Holzer and several others, the SEC said. Devlin called her the “golden goose,” according to the civil complaint.
Devlin’s wife’s firm “represented both bidders and targets in friendly mergers and acquisitions, unsolicited acquisition proposals, tender offers, and the repurchase of shares by a public company otherwise known as a ‘share buyback’,” according to a criminal information.
The SEC claims Holzer maintained an account for himself and one for his parents, and traded off Devlin’s information for both. Devlin and Holzer were named along with five others as defendants in the civil suit.
Devlin pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in December.
The two charges of conspiracy and securities fraud call for a maximum 25-year sentence but after entering his plea, Holzer, 34, faces up to 18 months in prison and has agreed to forfeit $119,000.