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Disney Insider Trading Suspect Pleads Guilty

Yonni Sebbag was nabbed along with Bonnie Hoxie for trying to sell advance information on media giant’s earnings report

Yonni Sebbag learned Monday that it doesn’t pay to mess with Mickey Mouse … or at least try to sell tips on his financial information.

The 30-year old Sebbag pleaded guilty Monday in New York City to wire-fraud charges and conspiracy to commit securities fraud with advance knowledge of Walt Disney Co. earnings information.

He could have faced a potential 25 years in jail from the charges but will likely face about three years thanks to the plea deal.

Neither Disney nor Sebbag’s lawyer Steven Kartagener responded immediately to attempts to contact them by TheWrap. However, Kartagener did tell the Los Angeles Times, that Sebbag “took full responsibility for his misconduct in this case.” The lawyer added, “the plea agreement is, in our view, a fair foundation for resolving the issues in this case.”

As a part of the agreement negotiated with the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, Sebbag will have to hand back the $15,000 he got in the FBI’s sting operation.

In addition to prison time, the Moroccan-born Sebbag could be deported after he is released.

The case came to light when the FBI swooped in and arrested Sebbag and Bonnie Jean Hoxie, his girlfriend, on May 26 after receiving reports from the financial community that someone was sending out anonymous emails, trying to peddle advance information on the Disney's quarterly earnings reports.

A secretary for Disney communications executive Zenia Mucha, Hoxie allegedly provided the insider info to her boyfriend in the hopes the two would make some quick and easy money. As TheWrap reported, the pair sent an email from “eilatcap@gmail.com that almost comically read: "Hi, I have access to DISNEY's (DIS) quarterly earnings report before its release on 5/03/10 … I am willing to share with you information for a fee that we can determine later."

Federal prosecutors, who said Google handed over information to them that revealed the email was sent by a "jonathan cyrus" from a Kinko's store in Culver City, claimed that Sebbag attempted to sell the information to over 30 different investment companies and hedge funds in Europe and the United States.

Hoxie has been out on bail of $50,000 since May and is also charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Additional charges fro the Securities and Exchange Commission are still pending in the case. Sebbag, who has been held without bail since late May, will be sentenced on Nov. 16.