Paul Thayer, deputy secretary of defense, pleaded guilty last year to obstructing justice and giving false testimony in an insider-trading scheme that netted eight of his friends more than $1.5 million in illegal profits. The plea came 14 months after Thayer, resigning from the Pentagon, vigorously denied charges that he had leaked confidential information about companies of which he was a director to his girlfriend, his Dallas stockbroker and others. He is serving a four-year prison term.

Thomas C. Reed, a White House adviser to President Reagan, was acquitted last year of insider stock trading charges. Reed, a former Air Force secretary, turned a $3,000 investment in his father's company into a $431,000 profit in 48 hours, but denied that he had used inside information from his father, a director of the company, about a merger offer that boosted the value of the firm's stock.

William J. Casey, Central Intelligence Agency director, bought and sold millions of dollars in stocks and other securities -- including several that had contracts with the CIA -- until he agreed under pressure in 1983 to place his holdings in a blind trust. Casey, who has access to worldwide intelligence data, had relied on his deputies to review his transactions and determine if there was any conflict with his CIA duties.

A Senate committee criticized Casey in 1981 for failing to list more than $250,000 in investments, nearly $500,000 in liabilities and more than 100 legal clients on his financial disclosure form.

On another matter -- the "Debategate" controversy -- a 1984 House subcommittee report charged that Casey was the person who obtained a copy of then-President Jimmy Carter's debate briefing book for Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. James A. Baker III, then White House chief of staff, had sworn that Casey gave him a copy of the Carter briefing book, but Casey said he did not recall seeing the material or giving it to anyone. The panel said it did not find Casey's account credible. Casey, who was Reagan's 1980 campaign manager, also said he did not recall seeing numerous memos addressed to him about obtaining documents and information from the Carter camp.