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Japan court sentences top fund manager for insider trading

[JURIST] A Japanese court sentenced high-profile fund manager and founder of M&A Consulting Yoshiaki Murakami [BusinessWeek profile] to two years in prison and imposed fines and penalties totaling approximately 1.153 billion yen (approximately $9.5 million) Thursday for insider trading of Nippon Broadcasting Systems Inc. (JOLF) [corporate website, in Japanese] stocks ahead of a corporate takeover that prosecutors said netted approximately 3 billion yen (approximately $24.6 million) in profits. Prosecutors, who had sought a sentence of three years in prison, say that Murakami purchased large amounts of JOLF stocks in January 2005 after Livedoor [media website, in Japanese] president and founder Takafumi Horie and senior executive Ryuji Miyauchi informed him of Livedoor's intentions to takeover JOLF during a meeting in November 2004.

In March, Horie was convicted of falsifying earnings and misleading investors [BBC News report] and sentenced to 30 months in prison [JURIST report]. In June of last year, Murakami admitted to insider trading [Xinhua Financial Network report], but retracted his confession when the trial opened. AP has more.

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