The Work

December 19, 2008 12:51 PM

Fleshing Out the Lawyers in the Lehman Insider Trading Case

Posted by Zach Lowe

Not surprisingly, there are lawyers all over the $4.8 million insider trading scandal originating with a Lehman Brothers broker and first made public in two complaints Thursday. To recap: the scandal, which dates to 2004, centers on a Lehman Brothers broker named Matthew Devlin who was lifting inside information about upcoming mergers from his unsuspecting wife, a partner at global public relations powerhouse Brunswick Group who works on M&A transactions, proxy fights, and IPOs, among other things.

Devlin in turn passed the information on to his friends, including Jamil Bouchareb, a restaurant owner in Miami (who dated a Playboy playmate), a Lehman colleague, and Eric Holzer, an associate at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. (Paul Hastings released a statement Thursday saying they would cooperate with the investigation. A source close to the situation tells The Am Law Daily Holzer has been placed on administrative leave pending the firm's own review of the case. The firm would not confirm that.) Bouchareb also passed the information to his friends, including Daniel Corbin, who in turn tipped off his father, Lee, an attorney at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever. 

Devlin has pleaded guilty to five counts linked to insider trading; Holzer, Bouchareb, and Daniel Corbin also are facing criminal charges. Three others, including Lee Corbin, are named as so-called "relief defendants" in a separate Securities and Exchange Commission civil complaint; relief defendants do not face criminal charges, according to a story in today's New York Law Journal.

Devlin's wife, Nina, is not suspected of any wrongdoing, says her attorney, James Benjamin, Jr., of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Benjamin would not say how he came to represent Nina Devlin. The former prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York has represented various financial big wigs under federal investigation since moving to Akin Gump, according to his bio. (Interesting note: he also contributed to a book called "The Imperial Presidency and the Consequences of 9/11" published by the New York City Bar Association last year, according to this NYLJ piece.)

The U.S. Attorney's office did not immediately provide information on who represented Devlin in crafting his plea agreement. 

Lilly Ann Sanchez, a shareholder at Fowler White Burnett in Miami, is representing Bouchareb. Last year, Sanchez represented Mark Jurman, a Florida man implicated in an $8 million insider trading scandal centered around a Morgan Stanley employee. Sanchez says a Washington, D.C., lawyer referred Bouchareb to her. 

Sanchez, who sounds ready to attack the government's case, says the complaint is "wholly based on the account of one witness (Devlin) who was facing a lot of prison time."

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