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Business Week Probe Looks at Local Investor

August 05, 1988|BILL SING | Times Staff Writer

An Orange County investor with accounts in at least three brokerages is being investigated for suspicious trades in stocks touted in Business Week, further expanding the breadth of the inside trading scandal surrounding the magazine.

Stephen Rasinski, a Corona Del Mar resident with a business in Tustin called Bretna Enterprises, often bought stocks touted in Business Week on Thursdays, one day before the magazine hits newsstands, sources familiar with the investigations said. It is not known how Rasinski got the information, although he is believed to have passed it to others on occasion.

Rasinski had accounts at Prudential-Bache Securities, Drexel Burnham Lambert and Smith Barney, Harris Upham. He may have had other accounts elsewhere, the sources said.

The news of Rasinski's trading is the latest indication of the widespread trading on pre-release knowledge of Business Week's "Inside Wall Street" column. Investigators, including those from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI, are examining trading in at least nine brokerage firms, with many others suspected of having accounts with suspicious transactions.

Meanwhile, additional employees of R. R. Donnelley & Sons, which prints Business Week at plants in Torrance and Old Saybrook, Conn., are being questioned about the pre-release leaks of information, sources said. Two Donnelley employees in Torrance and two in Connecticut have already lost their jobs for their involvement in the scandal.

Rasinski's account at Smith Barney--where a large amount of the trading appears to have occured--was closed after company officials learned of the Business Week connection.

Attempts to reach Rasinski at his home and office were unsuccessful.

Times Staff Writer Eric Schine in Orange County contributed to this story.

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