For once, it appears that the butler actually did do it. That would be Graham J. Lefford, onetime butler to hot-handed media entrepreneur Robert F. X. Sillerman (yes, we love the “x” too). As CFO.com is reporting, it all went down when Sillerman was buying the majority rights to market Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate, in 2004. (He also owns American Idol.) With deal-related faxes going back and forth between Sillerman’s Hamptons estate and his Manhattan office that summer, Lefford figured he’d be a bit of a hound dog and grab a piece of the action for himself, buying 5,000 shares of Sillerman’s company a mere twelve minutes after the final fax sealed the $100 million deal.
Lefford made a cool $48,525 on a $600 investment. But it was too much, and he got stung. Suspicious minds at the Securities and Exchange Commission were his undoing, and his penalty was to surrender $66,200 in profits, penalty, and interest. The butler, of course, didn’t admit or deny guilt in his settlement with the SEC, and he has apparently managed to avoid singing jailhouse rock for the alleged crime. Still, he must be all shook up from the experience. —Duff McDonald
A Whodunnit in the Hamptons [CFO.com]