Securities Law

Lawyer and golf buddy are indicted for alleged insider trading; BigLaw partner settles SEC suit

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A Massachusetts lawyer and his golf buddy have been indicted on charges of conspiracy and securities fraud for alleged insider trading.

Lawyer Douglas Parigian, 56, of Lowell and champion golfer Eric McPhail of Waltham were charged in an indictment unsealed this week, report the Boston Globe, the Patriot Ledger and the Lowell Sun.

Parigian and McPhail are also among seven defendants in a civil suit filed on Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC claims group members made about $550,000 from insider trading. One of the civil defendants is Douglas Clapp, 47, of Walpole, a partner at Holland & Knight, according to Above the Law.

Prosecutors claim McPhail passed along to his golf buddies corporate information he gained while socializing with an executive from American Superconductor Corp. at a country club. The company makes equipment for wind turbines. Parigian is accused of making about $300,000 in illegal gains through stock trades based on the inside information, according to the Lowell Sun.

Prosecutors claim McPhail used email to pass along the information to his golfing friends, the Boston Globe reports in a prior story.

The SEC suit cites this email from McPhail to Parigian and at least one of the nonattorney defendants: “I like Pinot Noir and love steak …. looking forward to getting paid back. Good Luck …. SHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Clapp agreed to settle the SEC’s civil suit without admitting or denying the charges. The judgment says he will repay $11,848 in trading profits and a civil penalty of $11,848, according to the Patriot Ledger. With interest, the total comes to $25,463

A lawyer for McPhail, Thomas Kiley, told the Patriot Ledger, “We plan to defend ourselves vigorously and that’s all I can say at this stage.”

A lawyer for Parigian did not respond to the Boston Globe’s request for comment. He did not immediately respond to a voice mail left by the ABA Journal.

An email sent to Clapp at Holland & Knight says he is out of the office on vacation.

Linda Butler, a spokeswoman for Holland & Knight, told the ABA Journal in an email: “We regard this as an extremely serious matter. The firm is undertaking a full review and will take appropriate action. We have no further comment at this time.”

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