A former executive at a New York investor firm has pleaded guilty to an insider trading charge for using drafts of press releases to illegally earn nearly a million dollars.

Michael Lucarelli entered the plea to a federal securities fraud charge on Wednesday, his 52nd birthday.

Lucarelli signed an agreement with prosecutors saying that federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison sentence lasting three to four years. Sentencing was set for Jan. 8.

Lucarelli, dressed in a suit, strolled out of the courthouse afterward.

His exit contrasted with his attempt to flee photographers after his arrest last month. On that occasion, he ran out of his sandals as he raced down the sidewalk in a tank top and slacks, earning him a mocking "Moment of Zen" on "The Daily Show."