Big 5’s Brownstein Gets Year In Prison

Jan 12 2012 | 5:11am ET

Hedge fund manager Drew Brownstein was sentenced to one year in prison yesterday for insider-trading.

Brownstein pleaded guilty in October to securities fraud, admitting that he traded on a tip from his father, a member of the board of directors at Mariner Energy. H. Clayton Peterson told his son that Mariner was to be acquired by Apache Corp. in a $2.7 billion deal; according to prosecutors, Brownstein made $2.5 million for his Denver-based Big 5 Asset Management and family members using the information.

Brownstein was also ordered to forfeit $2.44 million, serve six months house arrest and 500 hours of community service, and to pay a $7,500 fine.

“Indications are people are complaining,” U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson told Brownstein. “They’re complaining about the money made on Wall Street. Greed is what they’re concerned about and most of us would agree with them.”

Brownstein had faced almost four years in prison, although probation officials recommended a sentence of just six months. Prosecutors argued for a sentence “far more substantial.”

“I want to tell you how sorry I am for having made a terrible mistake,” Brownstein said at the Manhattan hearing. “I take full responsibility for my actions and I will have to live with this for the rest of my life.”

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