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Lotus insider trader gets probation

Man who had the IBM bid tip and blew it avoids prison

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A man found guilty of insider trading during IBM's $3 billion hostile bid for Lotus has escaped with two years probation and 100 hours community service. Robert Cassano got off lightly because he co-operated with the investigation, but he seems to have been pretty small fry anyway. Cassano got early warning of the bid via a relative who worked at IBM's Armonk HQ. Lotus' stock price was $32 prior to the offer, and IBM bought at $64, but the handful of people Cassano informed netted $190,000, and Cassano himself only seems to have got a $4000 commission. Cassano also admitted buying stock in Spectrum Information Technologies after obtaining confidential information about its licensing plans. ®

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