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Forklift operator won’t go to prison for insider trading

July 11, 2008

NEW YORK - A forklift operator who provided key information early enough for authorities to track down the ringleaders of a $6.7 million imaginative insider trading scheme will not have to go to prison, a judge said Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Holwell credited the cooperation of 22-year-old Juan Renteria as he sentenced him to two years probation and ordered him to forfeit $5,000 in illegal profits for admitting he was guilty of fraud and insider trading charges.

Renteria was 19 years old when he answered a help wanted advertisement for a job as a forklift operator in a Hartford, Wis., printing plant that produced Business Week.

After accepting the $10-an-hour job, he was offered the chance to make extra money by forwarding early copies of the magazine to the creators of an insider trading plot that prosecutors have credited for its creativity, though not its illegality.

Other facets of the plan to profit from secrets included the corruption of a New Jersey grand juror and a plan to convince exotic dancers to use their interpersonal skills to glean tips from customers.

Prosecutors said the creators of the insider trading ideas were willing to do almost anything for a few lucrative tips.

Before he was sentenced, Renteria apologized. ''I am very sorry for what I did and I will regret it for the rest of my life,'' Renteria said.

In January, a former Goldman Sachs analyst - Eugene Plotkin, 28, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison and ordered to forfeit $6.7 million for his role in the scheme.

Prosecutors said Plotkin ran the schemes with help from David Pajcin, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst who pleaded guilty to charges in the case and cooperated with the government.

They said Plotkin introduced Pajcin to his college buddy Stanislav Shpigelman in 2004 at a Russian day spa and sauna in lower Manhattan. Shpigelman worked as an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.'s mergers and acquisitions division.



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