So, um, yeah. This morning, this happened:
Eddie Murray, the former Orioles Hall of Famer, has been linked to an investigation by federal authorities in a wide-ranging insider trading case that already has ensnared teammate Doug DeCinces, according to a Reuters report.
Investigators have been trying to determine whether Murray traded on inside information that Abbott Laboratories was about to announce a deal to acquire Advanced Medical Optics for $2.8 billion in 2009, according to the Reuters report. He has not been charged with a crime.
Insider trading never looks good, but when your teammate’s already been caught doing it, they’re naturally going to suspect you, especially if you own shares in the same company.
DeCinces agreed to pay $2.5 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2011 as the result of a civil suit. Murray and DeCinces played together on the Orioles from 1977 to 1981, and both are Los Angeles-area natives.
But Murray’s attorney downplayed the report, calling it “old news.” Michael J. Proctor, of Caldwell Leslie & Proctor in Los Angeles, said, “The government prosecutors investigated this in 2009 and have done nothing. Eddie Murray is a great man, an honorable man, who has conducted his affairs ethically,”
A spokesman for the SEC noted Wednesday that the agency’s announcement about the DeCinces fine stated that the investigation was continuing. The spokesman had no further comment.
Attempts to reach Murray, who last worked in baseball as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007, were unsuccessful. He is scheduled to return to Baltimore in August, when his statue is dedicated at Camden Yards.
An Orioles spokesperson said the team would not comment on the issue.
To be honest, the team really shouldn’t have to or be expected to speak on the issue, since the issue doesn’t have anything to do with baseball and Murray is retired now. Yes, he’s a Hall of Famer and yes, he had some great years with the O’s, but this has nothing to do with the team, so unless he’s actually convicted and does prison time, I don’t expect the organization to have anything to say.
Interestingly, though, DeCinces paid a fine already by settling his case in a civil suit, and apparently Murray’s been investigated and cleared, or so says his lawyer. I do wonder if this will affect Murray’s reception at Camden Yards in August, though.
DeCinces, best known for replacing Brooks Robinson at third base and hitting the home run credited with igniting “Oriole Magic” was the largest of four investors targeted by the SEC in last year’s civil suit.
Acting upon a tip from a source involved with the transaction, he bought at least 83,700 shares of Advanced Medical Optics in the weeks before the merger, according to the SEC. On the day the deal was announced, Advanced Medical Optics’ stock rose from $12.65 per share to $21.50, an increase of 143 percent, and DeCinces made a profit of $1,282,691 on his shares, the SEC said.
According to the civil suit, DeCinces also looped at least three friends — physical therapist Joseph J. Donohue, lawyer Fred Scott Jackson and businessman Roger A. Wittenbach — in on the plan. They made more than $430,000 in profits. All four agreed to a settlement without admitting or denying that they had acted improperly.
Reuters did not report how many shares in Advanced Medical Optics Murray allegedly purchased, or when any transactions occurred.
Word of his possible involvement surfaced almost two years ago. The Los Angeles Daily Journal reported that a grand jury was investigating the matter, and that prosecutors believed Murray had been tipped off to the impending deal by DeCinces. The trade publication for lawyers did not report on Murray’s level of involvement and said that sources were unsure of whether criminal charges would be filed.
Oh, okay, I see. So really, it’s DeCinces running the show and people aren’t even sure if Murray was even involved or not in the first place. This has apparently been going on for two years now, too, so people must be unclear still as to what exactly went on here.
We can’t even have quiet off-days, now, can we? Geez. I just hope all of this clears up and it turns out Murray isn’t involved in the situation at all…because that would just make everyone feel better about everything. Well, at least a little bit.