Disney Insider-Trading Scammer Pleads Guilty

Aug 24 2010 | 11:38am ET

One of the two people accused of trying to sell insider information about the Walt Disney Co. to hedge funds has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme.

Yonni Sebbag pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud today in Manhattan. He faces almost three years in prison when he is sentenced, and agreed to forfeit $15,000 as part of his plea deal. He is not cooperating with prosecutors in the case against his girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, Bonnie Hoxie, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Sebbag faces deportation to his native Morocco upon the completion of his sentence.

Sebbag admitted that he tried to sell advanced information about Disney’s earnings to about 20 hedge funds, as well as other investment firms. According to prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sebbag sent letters offering up the information to the firms. Unfortunately for him and his girlfriend, the hedge funds quickly turned those letters over to the authorities, and the only interest they received was from a pair of undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents posing as hedge fund traders.

Sebbag has remained jailed in New York since his arrest in Los Angeles in June.

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