and you thought rene rivkin was hard done by

  1. bbm
    2,264 Posts.
    From the Herald Sun.

    ImClone chief gets 7 years' jail
    From correspondents in New York

    A US businessman was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison today for an insider-trading scandal that ensnared his family and threatens celebrity Martha Stewart and her home decorating empire.

    ImClone Systems founder Sam Waksal was also ordered to pay more than $US4 million ($6.11 million) in fines and back taxes.
    US District Judge William Pauley rejected Waksal's plea for a lighter sentence based on ImClone's cancer research, Waksal's humanitarian works and the intense media interest surrounding the case.

    "The harm that you wrought is truly incalculable," the judge said in New York.

    Waksal, 55, apologised to his family and former employees just before he was sentenced.

    "I am deeply disturbed and so very sorry for my actions," he said. "I want to apologise to all the people who may have had confidence in me and whose confidence I betrayed."

    Waksal, who once rubbed shoulders with rock stars and cut a flamboyant figure in the mostly staid pharmaceutical industry, pleaded guilty in October to six counts, including securities fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice and perjury.

    The charges covered insider trading and the evasion of $US1.2 million ($1.83 million) in sales taxes on fine art.

    Assistant US attorney Michael Schachter asked for more than seven years' jail, saying Waksal "told numerous, separate and distinct sets of lies" surrounding his family's sale of ImClone stock.

    Waksal admitted to a scheme in which he tipped his daughter, Aliza, to dump ImClone stock just before it plunged in value on news that the Food and Drug Administration would not review his company's experimental cancer drug, Erbitux.

    Stewart, a close friend of Waksal, was indicted last week on five federal counts - including obstruction of justice, conspiracy and lying to investigators - tied to her December 2001 sale of nearly 4000 shares of ImClone stock. She pleaded innocent.

    In a packed courtroom and with dozens of cameras ringed around the Manhattan courthouse, Waksal's lawyer Mark Pomerantz tried to distance his client from the scandals that have shaken confidence in corporate America.

    "He has been worried that he's going to be held responsible for companies and situations that he had nothing to do with," Pomerantz said.

    But Schachter said Waksal had violated "a sacred trust with his shareholders" and blamed him for doing national harm with a crime made worse by his position as chief executive officer.

    "It runs the risk of sending the message to investors that the game is rigged," he said.

    Pomerantz portrayed Waksal as fiercely devoted to ImClone and said he covered up the insider trading because he did not want to have to leave the company.

    The lawyer said the insider trading "took place literally on the spur of the moment".

    "This was not a sophisticated, highly planned course of conduct that extends over time."

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