Merrill Lynch analyst given 3 years for insider trading

8 January 2007

A former Merrill Lynch analyst has been told that he will serve at least three years in prison for his part in a $7 million insider trading plot.

Stanislav Shpigelman, who worked as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at the New York bank, is believed to have helped generate $6.7 million in illegal gains by tipping off traders about imminent takeover deals.

Prosecutors said that he had provided secret information to two former Goldman Sachs employees, Eugene Plotkin and David Pajcin, who are alleged to have masterminded the plot.

Passing the sentence, district judge Kenneth Karas said that Mr Shpigelman had been an "essential component in the scheme", making significant jail time necessary.

Although he only made between $10,000 and $12,000 himself, the court ruled that without Mr Shpigelman's information, the larger profits of others could not have been achieved.

"Mr Shpigelman did this for the oldest reason in the book - greed," commented assistant US attorney Benjamin Lawsky.

"He provided them the most valuable information there is on Wall Street."

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