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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Sept. 27

4. Foolish Filmmaker

Here's a Dumbest tale that has anything but a Hollywood ending.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Lawrence Robbins, a moronic Manhattan-based independent filmmaker, with insider trading on a pair of biotech mergers Monday. The SEC alleges Robbins pocketed over $1.5 million in illicit profits after buying options on takeover targets Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Sepracor (SEPR) based on confidential information that he received from his movie business partner John Michael Bennett. The boneheaded Bennett received the tips from his asinine acquaintance Scott Allen who worked at a firm involved with the transactions.

Robbins agreed to settle the SEC's charges by paying more than $1 million. The SEC previously charged Bennett and Allen for their starring roles in the scam.

"Robbins plotted with his business partner to perpetrate an insider trading scheme that enabled him to invest a portion of his illegal profits in their film production company," said Sanjay Wadhwa, Senior Associate Director for Enforcement in the SEC's New York Regional Office. "Their plot, however, did not account for the real world consequences of being caught by the SEC."

Oh man. You just know Sanjay relished that "real world" line. We guarantee he's putting that one in the screenplay he's currently scratching out at home when he's not chasing real life criminals at the office. And you also just know he wants to play himself in the movie.

Come to think of it, Sanjay's future film probably will perform better at the box office than the flops Robbins and Bennett were churning out with the winnings from their illegal option trading. For example, the pair poured money into a 2012 flop called "Playback" which garnered a mere $264 bucks at the box office.

Get with it guys! Don't you know you're supposed to stash insider trading profits in Cayman Island accounts and not Christian Slater vehicles?

Of course, they should also have known that the Feds always investigate highly irregular out-of-the-money call trades in the wake of a big biotech deal. But apparently these foolish filmmakers were not familiar with that well-known Wall Street plot device.

We certainly don't expect the writers hard at work on the big-screen adaptation of "The Stevie Cohen Story" to make that rookie mistake.
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