Publish date:
Updated on

The decision in a well-known securities fraud case is upheld

The U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the conviction of writer R. Foster Winans for securities fraud. Winans, author of the “Heard on the Street” column for the Wall Street Journal, entered into a scheme with two brokers at Kidder Peabody to give them advance information about his column. The brokers, Kenneth Felis and Peter Brant, made $700,000 by trading stocks that Winans touted in the newspaper; Winans and his lover, David Carpenter, received only $31,000 in kickbacks.

Winans began writing “Heard on the Street” in 1982 and, though successful, was having difficulty leading the lavish New York City lifestyle that he desired. In October 1983, Felis and Brant persuaded him to leak the contents of upcoming columns so that they could take advantage of the price changes that typically occurred after a stock had been written about in the nation’s leading financial publication.

It wasn’t long before executives at Kidder Peabody noticed a strange coincidence between the Felis account and the stocks discussed in “Heard on the Street.” With the SEC already investigating, Winans admitted the scheme in March 1984 and was immediately fired by the Wall Street Journal. Winans, Carpenter, and Felis were indicted and convicted of securities fraud. Winans received an 18-month prison sentence.

Although the amounts of money involved were relatively small, the Winans case became a public symbol of the widespread greed, corruption, and win-at-all-costs mentality of Wall Street that prevailed in the 1980s.

Winans revealed all in his 1986 book Trading Secrets, which sold well.The New York Crime Victims Board initially disputed hisright to the profits under a law that prevents criminals from profiting from their crimes, but the law was eventually overturned. Later, Winans told people, “I like what [the conviction] has done to my life, if you can believe it.”

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


PLO is founded

On this day, in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded. In February of 1969, Yasir Arafat was elected as its leader. By 1974, when he addressed the United Nations, Arafat had made significant strides towards establishing new respectability for the PLO’s campaign more

Ethiopian capital falls to rebels

Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, falls to forces of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), formally ending 17 years of Marxist rule in the East African country. In 1974, Haile Selassie, the leader of Ethiopia since 1930, was deposed in a military more

Appeal for Amnesty campaign launches

On this day in 1961, the British newspaper The London Observer publishes British lawyer Peter Benenson’s article “The Forgotten Prisoners” on its front page, launching the Appeal for Amnesty 1961–a campaign calling for the release of all people imprisoned in various parts of the more

U.S. troops abandon “Hamburger Hill”

U.S. troops abandon Ap Bia Mountain. A spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division said that the U.S. troops “have completed their search of the mountain and are now continuing their reconnaissance-in-force mission throughout the A Shau Valley.” This announcement came amid the more

The Virginian is published

Owen Wister’s The Virginian is published by Macmillan Press. It was the first “serious” Western and one of the most influential in the genre. Almost single-handedly, The Virginian turned the American cowboy into a legendary hero. At first glance, author Owen Wister seems an more

Mine explosion kills hundreds in India

Methane gas causes a mine explosion near Dharbad, India, that kills 375 people and injures hundreds more on this day in 1965. The blast was so powerful that even workers on the surface of the mine were killed. The mine was located 225 miles northwest of Calcutta near the town of more

Matthias Rust lands his plane in Red Square

Matthias Rust, a 19-year-old amateur pilot from West Germany, takes off from Helsinki, Finland, travels through more than 400 miles of Soviet airspace, and lands his small Cessna aircraft in Red Square by the Kremlin. The event proved to be an immense embarrassment to the Soviet more

African-American regiment departs for combat

The 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the most famous African-American regiment of the war, leaves Boston for combat in the South. For the first two years of the war, President Abraham Lincoln resisted the use of black troops despite the pleas of men such as Frederick Douglass, who more

Volkswagen is founded

On this day in 1937, the government of Germany–then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party–forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed more