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Roger Blackwell, 4 others indicted on insider trading charges

Roger Blackwell, a nationally known marketing expert is accused of leaking secret details of a merger that authorities say generated $880,000 in illegal profits.

Blackwell, of suburban Columbus, is accused of sharing information with family and friends about the pending acquisition of Worthington Foods by the Kellogg Company while he served on the Worthington Foods board. Worthington Foods shares increased more than 60% when the merger was announced in 1999.

A 48-count indictment was unsealed Tuesday against Blackwell, four others and a business.

The 64-year-old Blackwell is an Ohio State University marketing professor and author who has built a national reputation by explaining consumer behavior.

The defendants were released on personal recognizance bonds.

In January 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Blackwell and others charging them with insider trading. That case is pending.

Blackwell's attorney Tom Gorman says his client was looking forward to presenting evidence in the civil case when the government decided to seek the criminal indictment.

Gorman says they are very confident a jury will find Blackwell innocent of wrongdoing. Ohio State's Fisher College Business is standing by Blackwell. Fisher Dean, Joseph Alluto says Blackwell will continue his duties as a faculty member and teach class this fall.