Plotkin To Serve Time for Fraud

Former Harvard student sentenced to 57 months for insider trading

Eugene Plotkin ’00, a former Goldman Sachs associate, was sentenced last Thursday to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty in August to eight counts of insider trading and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

As part of his sentence, Plotkin was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit the $6.7 million made through the unlawful trades.

“This was one of the most brazen insider trading cases we have seen in a long time.” said David Rosenfeld, associate director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the New York regional office. “The defendants in this case effectively ran an insider trading business. They seized every opportunity to steal valuable information for personal gain with total disregard for the integrity of our markets.”

Plotkin’s attorney Edward J.M. Little acknowledged Plotkin’s actions in a phone interview but implied that David Pajcin, a former Goldman co-worker whose sentencing is set for later this month, was the real ringleader of the schemes.

“It’s a very sad and tragic case. [Plotkin]’s a Harvard grad who gets a Goldman job and has a good career,” Little said of the former Lowell House resident. “He was working very hard while his friend Pajcin was running around with this scheme.”

However, Little said that Plotkin “got a pretty good sentence considering everything.”

“Unfortunately, the federal sentencing guidelines are harsh,” he added. “Since he got the bottom of the range, he got as good as was available with the present scheme.”

James M. Margolin, special agent with the FBI, said that law enforcement officials involved with the case were also “satisfied” with the sentence.

“It’s a serious sentence, as it was a serious crime,” Margolin said.

CRIMINAL CONDUCT

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, Plotkin and Pajcin used a number of sources in their schemes.

Stanislav Shpigelman, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, provided information concerning numerous Merrill Lynch corporate deals.

Nickolaus Shuster and Juan C. Renteria, Jr., two employees of a Wisconsin printing press, stole advance copies of BusinessWeek and provided information on the magazine’s “Inside Wall Street” column prior to publication.

Lastly, Jason Smith, who, while serving as a federal grand juror in New Jersey in October 2003, provided information about an investigation of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

They have all since pleaded guilty to their respective charges. Shpigelman was sentenced to 37 months in January 2007, and Smith received 33 months in December 2006. The others have yet to be sentenced.

—Staff writer Prateek Kumar can be reached at kumar@fas.harvard.edu.