Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Ivan Boesky - A Golden Opportunity, White-collar Crime, Michael Milken, The Junk Bond King, The Symbol Of Greed

Ivan Boesky - The Symbol Of Greed

sec wall street investigation

In 1985 the SEC began an investigation after detecting suspicious activity on the stock market. With insiders trading privileged information, various company stocks were being purchased in a dramatic fashion just before a major announcement about a merger or sale of the company was made. The Southern District of New York also conducted an investigation at the same time as the SEC. The prosecutor in charge of the case was U.S. attorney and future mayor of New York City Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani (1944–).

In 1986 the SEC investigation trail led to Dennis Levine. As a result, Levine made a deal with authorities and turned in his partner, Ivan Boesky. With solid evidence that Boesky was trading insider information, he entered a guilty plea on November 14, 1986. Boesky struck a bargain with Giuliani and the SEC that included a $100 million fine and a three-year prison sentence, served mostly at California's Lompoc Federal Prison Camp. As part of the deal, Boesky agreed to act as a government informer to help break up the illegal activities of others on Wall Street.

Because of Boesky's cooperation, subpoenas (court orders requiring testimony in court) were issued to some of America's wealthiest financiers, including Michael Milken. Boesky himself went from being one of the wealthiest and most successful figures on Wall Street to being banned from the securities industry. His name would forever be linked with scandal and corruption. Following his prison time Boesky continued living on his great wealth but avoided public attention.

Many saw Boesky as the visible symbol of the greed and excess of the 1980s. Oliver Stone directed a movie called Wall Street, inspired by the financial crimes of the decade. The script's main character was a high-powered financier who steals a line from Ivan Boesky himself when he announces that "greed is good."

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