Feeds

Big Blue secretary busted for insider trading

Saw details of Lotus takeover while photocopying and told all her friends

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

An IBM secretary, who saw details of an upcoming takeover deal when photocopying documents, is being sued after she and a group of friends netted $1.3 million. Through Lorraine Cassano the gossip spread to 25 people, including a pizza man, a gynaecologist and an ex-teacher, all of who now stand accused of making profits from insider dealing. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is hot on the trail of the group, many of them first-time investors, according to today's Daily Telegraph newspaper. The US body alleges that Cassano whispered confidential details of IBM's impending acquisition of Lotus, discovered in the New York office, to her beeper-salesman husband in May 1995. Mr Cassano then tipped off colleague Paul Green in a New Jersey hotel room three days before the deal was due to be announced. Seemingly unable to keep his trap shut, Mr Cassano also blabbed to computer technician Jerry Mazzone. Both agreed to buy Lotus stock and split profits with Mr Cassano. From there, the news spread like wildfire, and within six hours 25 people had bought $500,000 of Lotus shares. These included a pizzeria owner, a dairy wholesaler, a banker, a solicitor and a stockbroker. They picked up $1.3 million when Lotus shares nearly doubled on the deal's announcement. The SEC has filed a suit against all 25, but has already settled with several, including the Cassanos. They have been forced to not only give back their profits, but also pay penalties representing double their gains. An IBM representative told The Register: "We're very careful that this kind of confidential information is not disclosed by staff. "We do not encourage this kind of activity." Former teacher Josephine DeCiccio, who allegedly netted $48,000 from the deal, claimed she was an innocent victim. "I had no idea I was doing anything wrong. You could have overheard something in the grocery store and have had no idea that you could wind up in SEC headquarters." ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.