The Real Deal Miami

Lennar short seller accepts guilty plea

March 17, 2011 02:27PM

Supposedly reformed Ponzi schemer Barry Minkow has agreed to a guilty plea on charges that he engaged in insider trading of shares of Miami home builder Lennar while he was working to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation catch other white collar criminals. Minkow has been pegged as the cause of a nearly 20-percent plummet in Lennar stock prices on Jan. 9, 2009, after he published a report that called the company “a financial crime in progress.” Lennar subsequently sued Minkow, who previously served seven years in prison for fraud and felony charges, for libel and extortion. The guilty plea is in a separate, criminal case in which Minkow was accused of using non-public information to short the stocks of companies before making damning allegations against them through his Fraud Discovery Institute. [Miami Herald]