The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday accused a prominent Los Angeles stockbroker, S. Jay Goldinger, and four other businessmen of insider trading related to the 1986 takeover of Thrifty Corp.
In a civil suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles, the SEC alleged that inside information passed along by Goldinger was used by the four other defendants to net $518,100 in illicit profits.
The commission is seeking the return of those profits, the maximum possible fine of $3.7 million and permanent injunctions against insider trading by the five defendants.
Goldinger, 37, has published an investment newsletter and appeared frequently as a guest on financial advice TV shows. He was a broker at Beverly Hills' Cantor, Fitzgerald & Co. when the alleged insider trading occurred and now is a director and officer of Capital Insight Brokerage, a Los Angeles investment firm.
The other defendants are Bert R. Cohen, who was Goldinger's boss at Cantor, Fitzgerald; Andrew E. Gerald, a broker for Cantor, Fitzgerald; Harvey M. Rosen, a Beverly Hills investor, and Ronald A. Weinstein, an investor from Bellevue, Wash., and executive vice president of the Egghead Discount Software retail chain.
According to the SEC, Goldinger on May 27, 1986, was told confidentially by two clients who were major shareholders of Thrifty that the company was about to be acquired by Pacific Enterprises.
The suit charges that Goldinger tipped off Cohen, who traded on the information and informed at least two of the three other defendants, all of whom also traded on the information before the deal was announced the next day.
By the close of trading on May 27, Thrifty's shares shot up $5.50 to close at $37.50.
Goldinger told the Associated Press that he never advised anyone to trade illegally. He said he is confident he will be exonerated.
The other defendants could not be reached.