NEW YORK—The husband of a senior Brunswick Group public relations executive has been charged in an insider trading scheme that earned close to $5 million in profits, using information he obtained from his wife, apparently without her knowledge.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Securities & Exchange Commission brought the case against Matthew Devlin, claiming he enabled clients and friends to make millions of dollars and was rewarded with gifts including cash, a Cartier watch, a widescreen television and tuition at a Porsche driving school. Devlin is married to Nina Devlin, a partner in the New York operation of strategic financial and corporate communications firm Brunswick.
"By providing inside information, Devlin curried favor with his friends and business associates and received in return cash, luxury items and other benefits," the SEC said in court papers. The commission claims Devlin took secrets from March 2004 through last July about more than a dozen pending mergers and acquisitions.
An attorney representing Nina Devlin said her husband obtained the information without her knowledge by being close to her and monitoring her travel schedule.
A Brunswick spokesman told reporters: “We believe our colleague was unaware of her husband's activities. She is absolutely devastated by these events.” The firm noted that Nina Devlin had not been charged with anything or implicated in the case.
Brunswick also said it intended to hire a law firm to carry out an internal investigation. It has already sent an email to all of its clients informing them of the incident.
At least four people face criminal charges in the case, and the SEC named seven people in its civil complaint.