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A San Francisco man was sentenced Thursday to three months in federal prison and ordered to pay $122,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to using insider information to make big bucks in Disney’s purchase of Marvel.
Law360 reports that in 2009, Toby G. Scammell was told by his girlfriend, a Disney extern working on the Marvel acquisition, that the entertainment giant was planning to buy a company “people would recognize right away.” Using her work schedule and their vacation plans, he was able to deduce when the deal would likely close, and learned from his then-employer — a consulting firm that had been contracted by Disney on occasion — that the company was interested in Marvel.
Scammell, who was then 24 years old, used that information to acquire 659 call options to buy Marvel stock for $5,465, more than half from his brother’s account (he never told his brother or his girlfriend). Marvel’s stock jumped 25 percent when Disney announced the acquisition on Aug. 31, 2009, earning Scammell more than $192,000.
Scammel pleaded guilty in April to one count of securities fraud through insider trading. In addition to the prison sentence and restitution, he’ll have to serve six months of home confinement and pay more than $800,000 in a related civil action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.