Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The SEC charged a Walt Disney Company employee and her boyfriend in a scheme to sell confidential information about Disney's quarterly earnings to hedge funds. According to the complaint, Bonnie Jean Hoxie, an administrative assistant to a high-level Disney executive, and her boyfriend Yonni Sebbag sent anonymous letters in March 2010 to more than 20 hedge funds in the U.S. and Europe, offering to provide pre-release results of Disney's second quarter 2010 earnings in exchange for a fee. Some hedge funds alerted the SEC, which immediately worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate. The FBI set up an undercover operation and made several contacts with Sebbag who offered to sell the information, in one instance for $15,000 and in another for half the expected trading profits.
In early May, Hoxie obtained confidential information concerning Disney's quarterly earnings and provided it to Sebbag, who in turn sold it to an FBI agent posing as an investment manager.
According to the SEC's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Hoxie had regular access to confidential information concerning Disney's financial performance and operating plans. Hoxie and Sebbag orchestrated a scheme to sell information to hedge funds to be used for purposes of insider trading