Ex-Oppenheimer & Co. worker pleads guilty to insider trading

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A former Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. financial adviser pleaded guilty to insider trading charges on Tuesday, admitting that he earned hundreds of thousands dollars illegally over a six-year period by using tips from a friend who worked at a pharmaceutical company.

David Hobson, of Providence, Rhode Island, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.

Hobson, 47, admitted teaming up with a childhood friend, Michael Maciocio, at Pfizer Inc. to trade on secrets about potential Pfizer acquisitions. Sentencing was set for March 2, when U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain will decide on a sentence consistent with a plea deal calling for a prison term of between two years and 2 1/2 years. Without a plea deal, he faced up to 25 years in prison.

Hobson agreed to forfeit $385,000 to cover the cost of illegal trades that he said he conducted between 2008 and April 2014.

“I apologize to the court,” Hobson said as he explained that he shared his profits with Maciocio and some of his clients.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the prosecution was part of a larger effort by his office to make the securities markets fair.

Maciocio, 46, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy and securities fraud. He’s awaiting sentencing.