Marketing guru Roger Blackwell found guilty of insider trading

An Ohio State University Marketing Professor faces prison and a stiff fine now that he and two others have been found guilty of insider trading. After the guilty verdict, Ohio State University officials released a statement that Blackwell had notifed the university of his retirement, effective immediately. The university says it is reviewing matters related to the naming rights associated with the Blackwell Inn.

After nearly five weeks of witness testimony, arguments and jury deliberation…the insider trading trial of 64-year-old Roger Blackwell and four others came to an end yesterday afternoon. You could almost feel the tension as the six-man, six-woman jury filed into the federal courtroom of Judge James Graham. After a trial that lasted a month and deliberations of two-and-a-half days…the panel found Blackwell guilty of insider trading, conspiracy and lying to federal investigators. Also found guilty were Blackwell’s office manager, Kelly Hughes, and her husband, Kevin Stacy. Found not guilty on all charges were Justin Voss, a longtime friend of Blackwell and Arnold Jack, a partner with Blackwell in BlackJack Enterprises. Blackwell is an internationally-known marketing expert who donated seven million dollars to Ohio State, which named a hotel after him. Blackwell served on the Board of Directors of Worthington Foods in 1999 and was privy to confidential information about a possible buyout by the Kellogg Corporation. Government prosecutors had accused Blackwell of telling several friends and relatives about the deal, and they, in turn, told others, who, during a six-week period invested nearly a million dollars in Worthington Foods stock. When the buyout was announced, the stock doubled in value and the investors reaped 890-thousand dollars in profits. Blackwell’s ex-wfie, Cristina Stephan, testified for the prosecution after receiving immunity. The defense claimed she lied about Blackwell’s role in passing on confidential, insider information. Standing on the courthouse steps after the verdicts…U-S Assistant Attorney Michael Marous told reporters he was pleased by the jury’s efforts. Marous was asked if this verdict sends a message to others contemplating insider trading. Blackwell’s longtime friend, Justin Voss, was found not guilty of all charges…but..he said he had mixed emotions. Voss said the ordeal of being prosecuted for insider trading has taken an emotional toll. Blackwell, Hughes and Stacy will remain free pending sentencing…which could take several months. Blackwell must post a one-million bond. Hughes and Stacy were released on their own recognizance. Any appeal would follow sentencing. Blackwell could receive up to 10 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine.

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