FBI Unveils Insider-Trading PSA, Starring Michael Douglas

Feb 29 2012 | 4:27am ET

If 57 insider-trading convictions over the past few years isn't enough to convince you not to do it, maybe Gordon Gekko can get the job done.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which said this week that it is building insider-trading cases against 120 people, on Monday rolled out a public service announcement starring Michael Douglas (see video below), who played the legendary corporate raider Gekko in the 1987 classic Wall Street, earning an Academy Award for it.

Wall Street ends with Gekko facing likely insider-trading charges—in the 2010 sequel, it's revealed he spent more than a decade in prison on them. But Douglas, who said he became something of a hero among traders after the first movie, warns in the PSA, "The movie was fiction, but the problem is real. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is."

The one-minute announcement is currently airing on CNBC and Bloomberg Television, part of the FBI's effort to get its "brand out on Wall Street," Special Agent David Chaves said.

Chaves said Douglas, who filmed the PSA in November, couldn't understand why he was so beloved for a character who was so rotten, most famous for the line, "greed, for lack of a better word, is good."

"I'm a criminal in the movie," Chaves said Douglas told him. "Don't they realize that?"


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