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Great News For Anyone Caught Up In A Little Insider Trading

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As you may have heard, the Feds are currently hoping to nail a not insignificant number of people for insider trading. Whether you've merely dabbled in the hot tips game or traded on material non-public information so many times you've lost count, the question 'Would I survive in the big house?' may have crossed your mind. It's a legitimate worry but today you can unclench your fear-stricken ass.

Almost half of the 43 defendants who were sentenced in Manhattan federal court in the past eight years for insider trading avoided a prison term, with many never seeing the inside of a jail cell because they cooperated with prosecutors. Nineteen who were sentenced since 2003, or 44 percent, weren’t incarcerated, an analysis of court cases by Bloomberg showed.

So, pretty good odds. If, however, you've really made a ton of money via not necessarily kosher tactics ("the greater the profit made on illegal trades, the longer the sentence," an expert says) and feel the need for a little extra security, a sick spouse can get you far.

Randi Collotta, an ex Morgan Stanley compliance officer who admitted leaking stock tips, was sentenced to two months in jail and four years of probation because her husband suffered severe heart problems. The guidelines called for a term of one year to 18 months.

Insider Trading Defendants Avoid Prison [Bloomberg]