November 29, 2012 / 2:07 AM / 8 years ago

Former baseball star Doug DeCinces indicted for insider trading

(Reuters) - Former Baltimore Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces has been indicted by a federal grand jury for insider trading, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

DeCinces was charged with 42 counts of criminal securities fraud and one count of money laundering over the 2008 purchase of stock in a medical device company based on insider information, according to an indictment filed in a federal court in Southern California.

DeCinces, 62, bought $160,000 worth of stock in Advanced Medical Optics Inc, after a “close personal friend” alerted him to an impending takeover bid by Abbott Laboratories, according to prosecutors.

He sold his stock shortly after the takeover bid was announced, making $1.3 million in profits, the department said.

A lawyer for DeCinces did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The criminal charges came on the heels of civil charges filed against DeCinces in August 2011 by the Securities and Exchange Commission related to the same accusations.

DeCinces settled those charges with the SEC, agreeing to pay $2.5 million in fines, while neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing in the trading of Advanced Medical Optics shares.

The indictment also names three friends of DeCinces to whom he provided the insider information to make up for previous investment advice that “had gone bad,” according to prosecutors.

The others indicted are David Parker and Fred Scott Jackson, each charged with six counts of securities fraud. A third friend, Roger Wittenbach, faces four securities fraud charges. Parker also faces a money laundering charge.

The securities fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment each, while the money laundering charges carry a 10-year maximum sentence for each count.

The four men charged are scheduled to appear in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, on December 17.

Reporting by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh

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