Christopher Saridakis, 45, who had led the
marketing solutions division of GSI Commerce Inc, pleaded guilty
to one count of securities fraud for leaking material nonpublic
information in March 2011 about the planned merger.
The defendant entered his plea before U.S. District Judge
Stewart Dalzell in Philadelphia, and was released on $300,000
bail, court records show. Saridakis faces a maximum 20 years in
prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for September 19.
"Mr. Saridakis has pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility,"
said his lawyer, Richard Zack, a partner at Pepper Hamilton. "He
has done everything he can to make things right, and he regrets
the pain that his conduct has caused his family and friends."
GSI shares rose nearly 51 percent on March 28, 2011, after eBay
announced its $1.96 billion purchase of the King of Prussia,
Investigators said Saridakis encouraged two relatives and two
friends to trade on his tips, leading to more than $300,000 of
On April 25, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said
Saridakis, of Greenville, Delaware, agreed to pay $664,822 and
accept an officer and director ban to settle related civil
Six other defendants, including a Manhattan hair salon owner,
settled SEC charges over trading ahead of the merger.
One of the settling defendants was an unnamed trader who the SEC
said provided "early, extraordinary and unconditional"
cooperation. The regulator entered a "nonprosecution" agreement
with that defendant, its first with an individual.
The cases are U.S. v. Saridakis, U.S. District Court, Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, No. 14-cr-00210; and SEC v. Saridakis
et al in the same court, No. 14-02397.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Matthew
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