Crime and Punishment

Barefoot perp pleads guilty to insider trading-related charges

Barefoot perp pleads guilty
Barefoot perp pleads guilty

A month after bolting barefoot from the courthouse, a New York City investor relations executive returned to court and pleaded guilty Wednesday in an insider trading case. It was his 52nd birthday.

Michael Lucarelli entered his guilty plea to one count of securities fraud. He said he had a drug problem and could not recall which companies he was trading while under the influence. He could be ordered imprisoned for 20 years when he is sentenced in January.

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Prosecutors had accused him of opening several brokerage accounts without disclosing his job at Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates. Lucarelli pleaded guilty to using company press releases, material to the stocks he traded, which had not yet been made public.

His attorney, Patrick W. McGinley, told CNBC in a statement, "[Lucarelli's] been in the stock trading business for 25 years and has never run afoul of the criminal law. In a nutshell, a very decent man made a bad mistake for which he took responsibility this morning."

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—CNBC's Cara Caruso and Reuters contributed to this report.