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Five Charged With Insider Trading on Info Elicited at an A.A. Meeting

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By Pat Loeb

MALVERN, Pa. (CBS) — A suburban Philadelphia financial adviser has been charged with insider trading, for making money by using information shared in confidence by a friend from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Four others are also charged with making nearly $2 million using the information.

An SEC complaint says Timothy McGee of Malvern, Pa. met an executive of Philadelphia Holding Corp. at an AA meeting in 1999.

A decade later, they were close friends and shared personal information that McGee had sworn to keep secret.

One night after an AA meeting, according to the SEC, the executive confided that he was under pressure because Philadelphia Holding was for sale.

The SEC charges that McGee then invested in the company and shared the information with fellow advisor Michael Zirinsky of Schwenksville, Pa., who bought shares for himself and told family members and associates who also bought shares.

Elaine Greenberg, associate director of the SEC’s Philadelphia regional office, says that’s a violation of securities law.

“Mr. McGee exploited his confidential relationship with a company insider for his own personal gain,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

Zirinsky did not respond to requests for comment.  McGee could not be reached.

A spokesman for their employer, Ameriprise, says they have both been suspended.

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