Denver man gets probation in NY insider trade case

Apr 12, 2012, 12:16 AM

NEW YORK (AP) – A Denver investment adviser credited for his cooperation with prosecutors was sentenced Wednesday to probation for his role in an insider trading scheme that earned a close friend more than $5 million in illegal profits.

U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson initially ordered Drew Peterson to serve three months of home confinement but even withdrew that after Peterson’s defense lawyer asked if his client could serve 200 hours of community service instead.

“I think you have acted absolutely correctly under the circumstances after having made a mistake,” Patterson said.

Given a chance to speak, Peterson said he was “extremely sorry for committing this crime.”

Peterson’s cooperation deal forced him to tell authorities how his father tipped him off that Mariner Energy Inc., an oil-and-gas-company, was going to be acquired by Apache Corp. The father sat on Mariner’s board. Peterson’s lawyer said his client made only $12,000 for himself. He agreed to forfeit more than $200,000.

The father has already been sentenced to probation while Denver hedge fund owner Drew “Bo” Brownstein was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for his part. The hedge fund portfolio manager admitted buying shares of Mariner Energy in April 2010 after receiving the inside tip.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Brownstein made more than $5 million in illegal profits by trading in his personal accounts, the accounts of relatives and for two of his hedge funds ahead of the acquisition.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Denver man gets probation in NY insider trade case