A Merrill Lynch Analyst, A Postal Worker, Business Week Employees and An Exotic Dancer – That Equals Nearly Five Years In Prison!

Eugene Plotkin, age 28, was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison for insider trading. But this was no ordinary insider trading scandal – rather, it was a bizarre series of events that caused one (who’s old enough) to remember the days of Ivan Boesky.

Here’s the skinny:

  • In the first insider trading scheme, Plotkin and a former co-worker, David Pajcin, obtained tips from a former Merrill analyst Stanislav Shipigelman about up-coming mergers, including the Adidas-Saloman acquisition of Reebok International. Profits from the illegal tips – roughly $6.2 million.
  • Scheme two – Plotkin and Pajcin hire to folks who worked at a Business Week printing plant to provide information (illegally) on upcoming prepublication issues of the magazine.
  • Lastly, Plotkin and Pajcin traded on shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb based on information provided from a postal worker who was serving on a grand jury in the investigation of BMS.

Pajcin traded in several accounts including those of his girlfriend, an exotic dancer.

Every choice has a consequence!

I keep hearing the words to the song … money for nothing and the chicks for free. Dire Straits I think. Well, it seems like these boys are in dire straits with prison terms awaiting them.

Having been there, I know what they’ll be facing.  YouTube  You’re known as a number. You’re a nobody and most of the inmates have no patience for a Harvard educated white guy. You’re counted six times per day and no special privileges. You work five days per week. My first assignment was collecting garbage on a military base. Collecting other people’s trash is nasty and it seemed it took days to remove the stench.

Almost five years … that’s nearly 20% of Plotkin’s life thus far. And what happens when he emerges? He’ll likely emerge a changed man. Technology will pass him by (although he’s bright enough to catch up quickly). Perhaps he’ll emerge bitter and wear the title convicted felon for the rest of his life. Or, perhaps, he’ll emerge with a motivation and spirit of service figuring out while there how to help others upon his release.

I repeat – Every choice has a consequence. The cool thing is – we control the consequences by our choices. Bad choices yield negative consequences – something Plotkin will experience soon. On the other hand, good choices yield positive results – something I have experienced – even as a convicted felon.

Chuck Gallagher, Ethics Speaker

Today, I am the founder of the Choices Foundation, a non-profit foundation whose purpose is to education young people about the effect of choices and consequences. Likewise, I am a motivational speaker (http://www.chuckgallagher.com) – speaking nationally to business organizations and associations about business ethics and sales. For information about speaking to your organization please visit my web site and request a promotional video.


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