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Former Angels player Doug DeCinces found guilty of insider trading

Former Angels third baseman Doug DeCinces, a Laguna Beach resident, was convicted Friday of insider trading stemming from allegations that he received stock tips from a neighbor that garnered him about $1.3 million in profits.

DeCinces was indicted in 2012 on 13 counts of insider trading after prosecutors alleged he benefited from inside information from his neighbor James Mazzo, who was chief executive of Advanced Medical Optics Inc., a Santa Ana-based medical supply company.

Friday’s jury verdict, which convicted DeCinces on all counts, ended a nearly two-month trial in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana that centered on stock trades made before Advanced Medical Optics was bought by Abbott Laboratories in 2008. At the time, Advanced Medical Optics was struggling with mounting debt and revenue losses.

Prosecutors alleged that Mazzo tipped off DeCinces about the companies’ merger before it happened. DeCinces bought additional stock in Advanced Medical Optics and tipped off his friend David Parker, along with family members and his physical therapist, authorities said. Parker, of Utah, bought 25,000 shares of Advanced Medical Optics stock, according to court filings.

In 2009, Abbott purchased the company for about four times the price its stock was trading for. After the merger was made public, Advanced Medical Optics’ stock price increased by 143%, court filings state.

Prosecutors said DeCinces sold all of his shares in the company, netting him about $1.3 million. Parker also sold his shares, earning $346,920, according to court documents.

The jury Friday convicted Parker of three counts of insider trading.

A sentencing hearing for DeCinces and Parker has not been scheduled.

Jurors were unable to agree on whether Mazzo provided DeCinces and Parker with information related to the merger. Jurors deadlocked 8-4 in favor of conviction, prompting District Judge Andrew Guilford to declare a mistrial in Mazzo’s case.

DeCinces’ attorney Kenneth Julian called the verdict against his client “disappointing” but said he plans to file a motion for a new trial.

“I believe we have several strong grounds for such a motion,” he said, though he did not elaborate.

In August 2011, DeCinces agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he made huge profits after the merger was announced. In the settlement, DeCinces did not admit to or deny the allegations, according to the SEC.

DeCinces played major-league baseball from 1973 to 1987 with the Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals and Angels. He was a member of the Angels from 1982 to 1987.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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