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Guilty plea in NY case linked to PR exec's husband

NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters) - A day trader pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges of making millions of dollars from stock tips he received from a friend who had misappropriated confidential corporate information from his wife, a New York public relations executive specializing in mergers.

Jamil Bouchareb, 27, who faces up to 20 years imprisonment on charges of securities fraud and conspiracy charges, told a Manhattan federal court judge that he received tips from former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEHMQ.PK salesman Matthew Devlin.

Devlin, who pleaded guilty to insider trading charges last Dec. 16, passed on stock trading tips without the knowledge of his wife, Nina Devlin, a public relations executive specializing in mergers and acquisitions with the Brunswick Group. She has not been charged in the case.

Bouchareb and Devlin are among five men charged criminally in the insider trading scheme that raked in about $4.8 million in profits between March 2004 and July 2007.

“He (Devlin) gave me recommendations, I traded on them,” Bouchareb told U.S. magistrate judge Debra Freeman at Tuesday’s hearing. “There was a point when I realized some of the information was coming from his spouse.”

In a statement in December, Nina Devlin’s lawyer James Benjamin said: “She was completely unaware that confidential information about her job was being used as the basis for securities trading.”

Court documents showed the government accused the ring of illegal trades in 13 impending mergers or transactions, including Novartis AG NOVN.VX acquiring Eon Labs in 2005 and Alcoa Inc's AA.N hostile offer for Alcan in 2007.

The cases are USA v Devlin et al 08-mag-2777/78/79 and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v Devlin et al in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) (Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Andre Grenon and Tim Dobbyn)