Disney worker pleads guilty
Former employee Bonnie Hoxie admits trying to sell insider data to investors.
A former administrative assistant to a top executive at Walt Disney Co. pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud charges related to her participation in an insider-trading scheme.
Bonnie J. Hoxie, 34, of Los Angeles admitted in federal district court in New York to attempting to sell confidential information that she gained access to as an assistant for Disney’s head of corporate communications, Zenia Mucha.
According to the criminal complaint, Hoxie obtained material, nonpublic information about Disney, including advance details about its second-quarter earnings. She shared the information with her boyfriend, Yonni Sebbag, for the purpose of selling it to investors before the company’s earnings call.
Sebbag sent letters to hedge funds and other investment companies, offering to sell the information for purposes of insider trading.
Three days in advance of the May 11 earnings call, Hoxie sent a confidential document that contained a collection of talking points that Disney’s executives would refer to while answering analysts’ questions, according to the criminal complaint.
Roughly two hours in advance of the public announcement, she revealed by e-mail that the company’s earnings per share would be 48 cents, better than analysts had predicted.
Hoxie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of wire fraud and faces of up to 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the amount she gained from the offense. Hoxie will be sentenced Dec. 21. Her lawyer, Robert M. Baum, could not be reached for comment.