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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Friday, September 18, 2015

Golfer Sentenced For Insider Trading Scheme

BOSTON – A Waltham man was sentenced today for conspiracy and insider trading in connection with tipping friends and fellow golfers with inside information about the business activities of American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC).

Eric McPhail, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 18 months in prison and two years of supervised release.  In June 2015, McPhail was convicted, following a seven-day jury trial, of conspiring to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.  McPhail had been indicted in July 2014.

According the evidence presented at trial, starting around July 2009, McPhail, who is a competitive amateur golfer, began giving his friends inside information about AMSC’s business activities and upcoming earnings announcements.  McPhail obtained this information during golf games at the Oakley Country Club in Watertown and other social outings with a close friend who was a senior executive at AMSC.  The executive, however, trusted McPhail to keep the information to himself and was unaware that McPhail was using it to tip his friends.

Over a two-year period spanning July 2009 to April 2011, several of McPhail’s friends repeatedly traded on the inside information.  According to evidence presented at trial, McPhail’s tippees successfully traded on material, nonpublic information about AMSC on at least five occasions, making a total of over $500,000 in illicit gains.  One of McPhail’s tippees, Douglas Parigian, who is also a competitive amateur golfer, previously pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges in May 2015.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Paul Levenson, Regional Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Boston Regional Office, made the announcement today.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew E. Lelling and Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Updated September 18, 2015