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Ex-Investment Adviser Allen to Plead Guilty, Lawyer Says

Scott Allen, a former investment adviser from Atlanta, will plead guilty today before U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in New York, his lawyer said.

Allen, who prosecutors said worked at Mercer LLC, and his co-defendant, independent filmmaker John Bennett, were charged last year in a $2.6 million insider-trading scheme involving drug-company acquisitions. The U.S. said Allen disclosed the information to Bennett, who then traded on the tips and reaped $1.1 million in profits.

“We are entering a guilty plea today as part of a negotiated plea agreement with the government,” Brian McEvoy, Allen’s lawyer, said today in an e-mailed statement. Allen was scheduled to go on trial March 27.

Bennett, of Norwalk, Connecticut, worked for Merrill Lynch & Co. from 2005 to 2007. He pleaded guilty in November to making trades using nonpublic information from a friend about the April 2008 acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and the September 2009 purchase of Sepracor Inc. by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., according to court filings.

Bennett has acted in several films, including the 1990 courtroom drama “Presumed Innocent” and “Last Exit to Brooklyn” according to the website IMDb.com. In 2008, he co-founded Bennett Robbins Productions, which in 2010 produced “Playback,” described on the company’s website as a “supernatural thriller” starring Christian Slater.

During his guilty plea, Bennett told Batts he met his colleague, identified by prosecutors as Allen, at Manhattan restaurants and paid him an unspecified amount of money for the tips. Bennett pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud.

The case is U.S. v. Bennett, 11-cr-927, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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