Securities Law

Initially Defiant re 'Fresh-Faced Eager Beavers' from FBI, Kinnucan Takes Plea

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After making headlines when he publicly proclaimed his innocence and said he had refused to cooperate and wear a wire in a federal investigation, the founder of Broadband Research LLC pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan in an insider-trading case.

John Kinnucan, 55, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud, report the Associated Press and Bloomberg.

Under a plea agreement, he is expected to face a prison term of 46 to 57 months when he is sentenced in January, including a two-level enhancement for admittedly attempting to obstruct the probe. The maximum term for the charges is 45 years.

“From approximately 2008 to 2010 I worked with others to obtain material nonpublic information from employees of public companies. I then passed the information to clients,” Kinnucan told U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts on Wednesday.

When initially approached by “two fresh-faced eager beavers from the FBI,” Kinnucan told clients in a 2010 email, he refused to cooperate with their investigation and wear a wire, because he had done nothing wrong.

He was indicted earlier this year.

After spending months in prison because he was unable to make a $5 million bond, with conditions, set by a federal judge after Kinnucan reportedly left what the judge termed “vile” after-hours phone messages for prosecutors, FBI agents and two witnesses, Kinnucan apparently saw the situation differently.

The phone messages are the basis for his expected sentence enhancement for obstruction, the AP article notes.

Attorney Jennifer Brown represents Kinnucan and said he looks forward to a future in which his plea “is a first step to repairing the damage that he has caused both to his family and to the public.”

Earlier coverage: “Visited By FBI in Big Insider-Trading Probe, Researcher Explains ‘Why I Chose Not to Wear a Wire’” “Research Analyst Who Publicly Refused to Wear FBI Wire Is Arrested in Insider Trading Case” “Phone Messages for Gov’t Lawyers Create New Trouble for Indicted Researcher Who Refused to Wear Wire”

Bloomberg: “Kinnucan Wife Tells SEC Case Judge She Has Negative Worth”

Reuters: ‘Kinnucan ordered to be transported to New York’”

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