Gordon Gekko takes up cudgel against white collar crime
"Wall Street" villain Gordon Gekko has turned informer.
Michael Douglas - star of Oliver Stone's 1987 classic - is appearing in a new FBI public service announcement warning against the dangers of insider trading.
"In the movie 'Wall Street I played Gordon Gekko, a greedy corporate executive who cheated to profit while innocent investors lost their savings," Douglas says in the clip. "The movie was fiction, but the problem is real. Our economy is increasingly dependent on the success and integrity of the financial markets. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is," he continues.
Douglas didn't get paid for 60-second spot, which was filmed in November.
The FBI released the Douglas PSA yesterday with 2010 undercover video of Yonni Sebbag, the boyfriend of a Walt Disney Co. employee who sent letters to Manhattan investment companies and hedge funds seeking payment for financial information about the company. In the video, Sebbag is seen making a $15,000 deal with a man he does not know is an undercover FBI agent.
"What motivates me is money," says Sebbag, who was sentenced to serve 27 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood in January of last year.
The videos are part of a campaign against white collar crime, which a spokeswoman said is the FBI's criminal division's top priority.
FBI Special Agent David Chaves had the idea to draft the actor in the fight against white collar crime after reading that Douglas was perplexed by receiving continued praise from Wall Streeters, even though he had played a criminal.
Was it hard to convince Douglas to shill on the FBI's behalf?
"We just went to his special agent," said a spokeswoman.
The clip can be seen at www.fbi.gov, where you can also report white-collar crime.