ORLANDO, Fla. – A former attorney for SeaWorld Entertainment has pleaded guilty to insider trading, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

  • Former SeaWorld attorney pleads guilty to insider trading
  • Paul Powers admitted to using non-public financial information
  • Powers bought SeaWorld stock days before strong earnings report

Paul Powers, of Winter Park, admitted to viewing information about the company's financial performance before it became public during his time as associate general counsel.

Powers told authorities that he used the information to buy 18,000 shares of SeaWorld stock on August 2, 2018, days before the company was set to report increased revenue and attendance.

After the earnings report was released August 6, 2018, the price of SeaWorld stock spiked 17 percent. Powers then sold all 18,000 shares, netting a profit of $64,645, the DOJ news release said.

Powers faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. Sentencing has not been set.

SeaWorld, which is based in Orlando, operates 12 parks across the country. In recent years, the company has started to rebound from the revenue and attendance declines that followed the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish.

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