Walter Curran drove a Jaguar, wore a gold Rolex, and picked up bar tabs all over town. He was the socializing stockbroker who used the Oakley Country Club as an office and promised clients 20 percent returns.
Over nearly a decade, he fleeced more than $2 million from investors, primarily from fellow members at Oakley, gaining their trust through many rounds of golf. When clients got onto Curran, he tried to disappear, but authorities caught him at the Canadian border with more than $100,000 stuffed in plastic bags. The con man pleaded guilty to fraud and spent a few years in prison.
That was 1989, and a quarter-century later, the Watertown club finds itself back in the headlines — in the middle of another money scandal that has tongues wagging on fairways across the state.
Last Friday, the SEC accused Oakley member Eric McPhail of insider trading, saying the champion golfer gleaned sensitive information about a public company from another member who was an executive at Devens-based American Superconductor Corp.
McPhail, who forged a friendship over golf and drinks, allegedly traded on illegal tips and passed them along to a group of buddies, most of them competitive amateur golfers. Together, they made $720,000 in illicit profits over a two-year period on AMSC stock, according to a federal indictment.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week