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- Ivan Boesky
- Securities Arbitrageur
- Insider Trading
- $100-million Fine, 3 1/2 years in prison, Lifetime Ban from Securities Industry
The arrest of Ivan Boesky:
What more do you need to say? This is the guy that the Michael Douglas character in the movie "Wall Street" was modeled after. You know the one who said "greed is good."
Now it's true that's a Hollywood dramatization, but Ivan Boesky actually said words to that effect when he delivered a speech on the positive aspects of greed at a commencement ceremony at the University of California, Berkley in May 1986.
By that time, he'd made more than $20 million dollars as an arbitrage expert betting on corporate takeovers.
He also gained control of the Beverly Hills Hotel Corporation, after the death of his father-in-law, who'd run it for a quarter century.
Boesky got into big trouble when the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated him for making stock buys based on tips from corporate insiders.
Insider trading was illegal, but rarely enforced before Boesky went on trial. He cooperated with the S.E.C. and even informed against financier Michael Milken…
…the so-called "junk bond king".
Boesky's plea deal resulted in a three and a half year prison sentence and a $100-million fine. He served two years at the Lompoc Federal Prison Camp and was permanently barred from the securities business.