Insider Trading

Kinnucan Gets 4 Years for Insider Trading

John Kinnucan

A securities research analyst who had publicly refused to cooperate in a sweeping government insider trading probe was sentenced to more than four years in prison Tuesday after admitting he supplied hedge funds with illegal tips.

John Kinnucan, who had run Broadband Research in Portland, Ore., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan.

Kinnucan, 55, gained wide attention in the financial world in late 2010 with his public refusal to wear an FBI wire to cooperate with the government's trading probe. He was arrested in February on insider trading charges and later pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of securities fraud.

Kinnucan, who has been in custody since his arrest, had a full beard and appeared gaunt as he apologized briefly before the sentencing.

"I'd just like to say I'm very sorry to everyone involved," he said. "It wasn't my intention and I'm deeply sorry."

While in custody, Kinnucan became "a shadow of himself," his attorney, Jennifer Brown, told the court. She said he lost 35 pounds, was depressed and had not sought communication with his family, which includes two brothers and a sister who were in the courtroom.

"He is humbled and ashamed and has really taken in the message of what he's done here," Brown said.

In his guilty plea last July, Kinnucan admitted that he obtained confidential information from employees of public companies between 2008 and 2010 and supplied it to hedge fund clients.

He also admitted trying to obstruct justice by leaving intimidating voicemails and writing e-mails to federal prosecutors, FBI agents and a cooperating witness.

The case was brought by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who has ramped up insider trading prosecutions in recent years, winning convictions of hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam and former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta, among dozens of others.