Business Week plant worker pleads guilty
A former worker at a Wisconsin printing plant pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he leaked the names of stocks mentioned in Business Week before the magazine was mailed.
Nickolaus Shuster, who worked at Quad Graphics Inc. in Sussex, Wis., told a judge in Manhattan federal court that he tipped two people, whom he didn’t name, to the names of the stocks that were to be favorably mentioned in the Inside Wall Street column.
“I would steal pre-publication copies of Business Week and call these two people and relay to them the contents of the Inside Wall Street columns,” Shuster, 25, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman. Shuster, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud, will be sentenced in January.
The guilty plea is the third in what prosecutors said was a three-prong conspiracy involving two former employees at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Eugene Plotkin and David Pajcin.
In Wisconsin, Shuster stole advance copies of Business Week for Plotkin and Pajcin, prosecutors said. In New York, former Merrill Lynch & Co. mergers analyst Stanislav Shpigelman, who pleaded guilty in July, leaked secret information about a pending deal to the pair, authorities said.
In Newark, N.J., Jason Smith, a mailman sitting on a grand jury, tipped Pajcin and Plotkin to details of a confidential U.S. accounting probe of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., prosecutors said. Smith pleaded guilty in August.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Shuster said.
Shuster told Freeman that, during an October 2004 meeting in the Union Square section of Manhattan, his two co-conspirators asked him to travel to Wisconsin and get a job at the Business Week plant.
In January 2005, one of Shuster’s co-conspirators bought 3,500 shares of Arbitron Inc., the biggest radio-ratings supplier in the U.S., after learning of a forthcoming mention in the column, Assistant U.S. Atty. Benjamin Lawsky said in court.
Shuster agreed to forfeit $20,000 paid to him as part of the scheme. The judge said Shuster, who previously lived in New Jersey, had been cooperating with prosecutors. Charges are pending against a second printing-plant worker, Juan Renteria, along with Plotkin.