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French Doctor Yves Benhamou Sentenced to Time Served in Tipping Case
  December 22, 2011

By Bob Van Voris

(Updates with judge's name in second paragraph.)

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Yves Benhamou, a French physician who passed inside information on drug trials to FrontPoint Partners LLC fund manager Joseph F. "Chip" Skowron, was sentenced to time already served.

Benhamou, 51, pleaded guilty in April to securities fraud, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and two counts of conspiracy for passing tips that Human Genome Sciences Inc.'s hepatitis C drug trials were being halted. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan federal court.

Defense lawyers had asked for the sentence of time served, citing their client's cooperation with government investigators. They said Benhamou spent 24 days in jail after his arrest in November 2010, and more than nine months under highly restrictive home detention after being released on bond.

Federal sentencing guidelines, which are not binding, called for Benhamou to receive 108 to 135 months in prison, according to a pre-sentencing report prepared for the judge.

Prosecutors said in a Dec. 1 letter to the court that Benhamou's help played a "critical role" in their case against Skowron.

Skowron, a Yale University-educated physician from Greenwich, Connecticut, who pleaded guilty in August, was sentenced last month to five years in prison. He admitted that after Benhamou passed him the non-public information, FrontPoint sold its stock, avoiding $30 million in losses, the U.S. said.

The case is U.S. v. Benhamou, 11-CR-336, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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