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Feds: Waltham golfer wanted steak, wine for insider trading tips

Federal authorities have charged a Waltham golfer and his friends with insider trading after an executive shared tips with the golfer while on the course.

U.S. Open Merion golf club A golf course.
Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

After allegedly sharing insider information with his friends, an amateur golfer from Waltham emailed them to say that he looks forward to getting "paid back" with Pinot Noir and steak.

Eric McPhail, 41, of Waltham, the golfer, and Douglas Parigian, 56, of Lowell, were indicted on federal charges ofconspiracy and securities fraud, the US Attorney's office said on Friday. Five other men were named as defendants in a compliant filed in federal court by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

McPhail befriended an executive at Devens-based American Superconductor Corporation, which provides hardware and software for the wind power industry, while the two were members of the same country club. According to the complaint, McPhail shared with the executive personal information about his divorce and the terminal illness of a family member. In turn, the executive confided in McPhail information about his work and the stresses of his job at the public company.

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The information that the executive, who is not named in the complaint, shared with McPhail was then allegedly told by McPhail through email to some of his amateur golfing friends. Using that information that had yet to be made public, the group of six friends made profits of more than $550,000, authorities allege.

In one email to his friends, McPhail allegedly suggested he wanted a thank-you meal.

"Ilike Pinot Noir and love steak ... looking forward to getting paidback.Good Luck ... SHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!," the email read.

McPhail's attorney, Thomas Kiley, told the Waltham News Tribune on Friday that he plans to file a response to the complaint within 20 days.

"We plan to defend ourselves vigorously and that's all I can say at this stage," said Kiley.

The men face up to 25 years in jail if convicted.

"Once someone gets on the radar screen, no matter how inside information is shared or acted on, whether person to person at a country club with golfing buddies, over the phone to trusted allies, or by oneself, the FBI has the tools to investigate and prove the criminal activity," said Vincent Lisi, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI. "Knowing that we can detect such trading and have the capability to uncover the schemes, those who want to harm the investing public should think twice."

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
 
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