We always laugh when, say, someone's arrested for brazenly offering weed for sale on Craigslist. Our apologies to those fools. It turns out that the dumbest criminals of all are trying to pull off insider trading. Very, very poorly.
Bonnie Hoxie was a 33 year-old executive assistant at Disney's corporate offices. She decided she needed to go on a shopping spree. How to secure some extra cash? Why not try to sell off internal Disney financial information to investors before it was released to the public? And how to do that? Why not just, hey, send this email to 33 different investment companies?
Hi, I have access to Disney's (DIS) quarterly earnings report before its release on 05/03/10 [sic]. I am willing to share this information for a fee that we can determine later. I am sorry but I can't disclose my identity for confidentiality reasons but we can correspond by email if you would like to discuss it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I count on your discretion as you can count on mine. Thank you and I look forward to talking to you.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Meanwhile, Bonnie enlisted her boyfriend, 29 year-old Yonni Sebagg, as chief negotiator with the trader who wanted to buy this information. (It was an FBI agent, but Yonni didn't know, shhhh). Here's a sample, from the criminal complaint, of Yonni's smooth, professional negotiating style.
"If uh, if you don't make so much, you know, you can always compensate me for whatever, but…Yeah! 50-50….Yeah! I think that fifty-fifty is good…." "The most important thing in all that is to not get caught…." "I get access to, uh, to mostly any information that comes to, um, through Disney, before, before, before the press." "…hhow much of a trade are you gonna do on such an operation, so I can have an idea of, you know, how much we can make, or not make…."
With their master plan running along smoothly, Hoxie and Sebagg giddily discussed what they would buy with all their magical easy money:
Then Sebagg went and picked up some cash from some undercover FBI agents, and went ahead and told them who he was and who his girlfriend was and how they wanted to make a lot of money, but did not want to go to jail. Yesterday they were both arrested. Kids, just rob banks.