By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT — A California man pleaded guilty to charges of selling insider information to Manhattan financial firms about Disney's earnings, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Yonni Sebbag, 30, admitted to selling trade secrets from the Walt Disney Company to undercover FBI agents for $15,000 just prior to the company’s May earnings announcement. He obtained the data from his girlfriend, a former Disney employee.
Sebbag, who reportedly owned a coffee shop in Hollywood, Calif., allegedly received Disney’s earning figures from girlfriend Bonnie Hoxie, 33, a former assistant to a top Disney executive.
Sebbag sent anonymous letters to several Manhattan hedge funds and investment firms in an attempt to cash in on the internal earnings numbers, prosecutors said.
"Hi, I have access to Disney's (DIS) quarterly earnings report before its release on 5/3/10," one of Sebbag's letters began, according to court papers.
"I am willing to share this information for a fee that we can determine later," he continued.
Sebbag, who pleaded guilty to several counts of securities and wire fraud, faces between 27 and 33 months in prison.
Charges against Hoxie are still pending.