Eugene Plotkin

Eugene Plotkin Finally Pleads Guilty

When I first started at DealBreaker, I realized quickly that there were a few things you could always count on. You could count on Goldman to be the best, its hedge funds not included. You could count on commenters to never shut the fuck up about totally insignificant errors in grammar and punctuation that they were only pointing out so as to feel good about themselves on an anonymous message board for two seconds as a result of their obviously unparalleled “gotcha!” skills. You could count on quant models to always beat the market. And you could count on a young man, a dancer and a banker, named Eugene Plotkin, who took in more than $6.7 million in an insider trading scheme that was hatched at a Russian bathhouse and included a Merrill Lynch junior analyst, a 63-year old retired Croatian underwear seamstress, an exotic dancer and two former employees from the Wisconsin branch of a BusinessWeek printing press, to claim that he was completely innocent. Today that faith was broken.
The former Goldman Sachs associate pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and eight counts of insider trading. Plotkin’s crimes carry a maximum penalty of 165 years in prison, though under the terms of a plea agreement, he only faces 5 years and 11 months (and will also have to turn over the $6.7). Sentencing takes place on November 30. Plotkin told U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman, “I understand what I did was wrong and against the law” and said he was “deeply sorry” for his “intent to perpetrate a fraud upon the investing public.” He said nothing about robbing us of our ability to ever believe again.
Ex-Goldman Associate Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading [Bloomberg]

We’ve been sitting around the office for the better part of the morning trying to figure something out. No, not, “Did Carney’s beard add gravitas to his appearance on CNBC or did it just make the whole operation look like b-roll from Court TV?”—though that question has been plaguing us for some time.
What we’re wrestling with this a.m. is the latest insider trading extravaganza and, you know, how it makes us feel. Because that’s how we analyze things around here: from the heart and without reason.
First off, it’s become readily apparent to us that everyone covering the story got together and said, let’s really drive home the Boesky connection. And not that we’re not always up for connections but the thing is—we’e already lived through the whole Boesky deal. Or at least JC has, and I got myself up to speed a few years later with Michael Douglas’s take on the situation. Illegal tips. Egos. Russians. Blah. Blah. Blah. It’s all the same. History repeats itself and that’s why history is boring.
Whatever happened to past performance not guaranteeing future results? These days it’s just all past performance performing the past again. We read all the hype over this insider trading scandal and feel like we’ve got a cousin in town who is totally excited to see Phantom of the Opera for the seventh time.
When the Plotkin case came along, now that got us excited.
A. There was a ballet dancer involved
B. The groundwork for the scheme was laid out at Spa 88—schvitzing and blintzing and insider trading, oh my!
Now, what it is what is is. And what is is a bunch of middle-aged men getting together at Oyster Bar in freaking Grand Central Station to lay out their plan for world domination to repay someone a measly $25,000. (Also: Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station? What, the Houlihan’s at Penn wasn’t good enough for them?). And here’s the best part of it—a few of the guys involved have already pleaded guilty! Snore. Even Boesky and Milken put up a fight, for a bit.
No courtroom drama, no character witnesses suddenly gone missing the night before they’re supposed to testify, no stern looking prosecutors with grating voices and cute names like Rudy.
At least Shpigelman was man (or boy) enough to entertain us with the argument that he did what he did because of “false promises, deception, intimidation and flattery.” Okay, that’s a little girly. Makes him sound like a girl waking up in the DTD house and regretting that those last four shots of Peach Schnapps made Brian looks kind of like he might be a good boyfriend. But you get our point.
It’d be wishful thinking on all of our parts to assume that any of these newbies will do anything but lie back and take it. Perhaps the one saving grace in the whole profoundly underwhelming deal (that’s right—we found it necessary, nay, irresponsible-not-to, qualify the ‘underwhelming’) is that “the case was so complex that the United States attorney in Manhattan, Michael J. Garcia, yesterday used a large poster board to explain the inner workings.”
A poster board!
businessweekinsidertrading.jpg
(photo credit: Business Week)
The Century’s Big Insider-Trading Bust [Business Week]
Feds Charge 14 in Insider Scheme [thestreet.com]

Schvitzing And Blintzing And Insider Trading, Oh My!

russianroomman.jpgDespite telling U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas that he was “sorry” for leaking somewhat important information to Goldman Sachs employees Eugene “Dance like nobody’s watching” Plotkin and David Pajcin, former Merrill Lynch analyst Stanislave Shpigelman will soon be heading to the big house for three years and one month. Shpigelman admitted that while working in Merrill’s M&A division, he took part in “a scheme that used gabby investment bankers and leaked copies of a market-moving magazine,” facilitating others in making in excess of $6.7 million between October 2004 and August 2005. Impressively trumping the fact that the judge felt the need to note that he doled out the sentence with “a ‘heavy heart’ because Shpigelman had one of the nicest families he had ever known,” is the fact that Shpigelman was recruited for the scheme by Plotkin and Pajcin “in a meeting at Club 88, a Manhattan day spa and Russian sauna,” according to the S.E.C.
Ex-Analyst Gets Prison [Forbes]
Ex-Merrill Analyst Gets 37 Months in Insider Case [Bloomberg via Dealbook]
Earlier: Urban Grand Daddy