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Ex-Goldman analyst gets prison in insider case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N analyst was sentenced to nearly five years in prison on Thursday for helping lead a far-flung insider trading ring involving tips about pending mergers and stolen copies of BusinessWeek magazine.

Eugene Plotkin, 28, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and to insider trading charges, also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit $6.7 million.

He will serve four years and nine months in prison under the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan.

Federal prosecutors accused Plotkin and another former Goldman employee, David Pajcin, of trading off tips leaked by an ex-Merrill Lynch and Co Inc MER.N investment banking analyst and also from stolen advance copies of BusinessWeek that they obtained from printing plant workers.

They also got information from a New Jersey grand juror about an investigation of drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co BMY.N, prosecutors said.

Reporting by Paritosh Bansal and Martha Graybow, editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Gerald E. McCormick