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Man sentenced to 27-month prison term in Disney insider-trading scheme

January 28, 2011 |  1:15 pm

A federal district court judge in New York sentenced Yonni Sebbag to 27 months in prison Friday for his role in an an insider-trading scheme in which he and an assistant to a Walt Disney Co. executive attempted to sell advance information about the media company's quarterly earnings.

Sebbag sent letters to multiple hedge funds and investment companies last March, offering to sell pre-release details about Disney's financial results, which he obtained from his then-girlfriend, Bonnie Hoxie. She gained access to the quarterly statement while working as an assistant to Disney's head of corporate communications, Zenia Mucha.

Hoxie, 34, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 22 for her role in the scheme.

"Yonni Sebbag concocted a brazen scheme to exploit his access to valuable, non-public information by attempting to sell it to would-be investors," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "Sebbag is only the latest person to learn the hard way that trying to earn a quick buck through insider trading will earn you a prison sentence instead."

District Court Judge Kimba M. Wood also ordered Sebbag to forfeit the $15,000 he received from an undercover FBI agent who posed as a Wall Street trader interested in obtaining the information.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski