Federal prosecutors have arrested four people on insider trading charges related to the alleged revealing of secrets about Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other technology products to hedge funds looking for a trading advantage. Those arrested included Primary Global Research executive James Fleishman and “expert consultants” Mark Anthony Longoria from Texas, Walter Shimoon from California, and Manosha Karunatilaka of Massachusetts. All of the defendants are charged with wire fraud. The three “expert consultants” are also charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud.
According to prosecutors, Fleishman arranged it so that Primary Global Research clients, such as hedge funds, could talk to the consultants, who gave them highly confidential information about Apple sales forecasts, new iPhone product features, and a secret project that was to become the iPod. Primary Gold Research allegedly paid consultants over $400,000 to engage in these phone conversations.
The case is an offshoot of an investigation into Galleon Funds founder Raj Rajaratnam and more than 20 others. Rajaratnam has pleaded not guilty to securities fraud. He claims that he only traded information to which the public also had access. Wiretaps were used to build the Galleon Funds case and this insider trading case.
According to the complaint, Flextronics International Limited business development senior director Shimoon illegally gave out insider information about the iPhone that had been given to Flextronics employees. The company and Apple had worked together on charger and camera components for both the iPod and iPhone. Shimoin was also caught on wiretaps saying he would obtain secrets about sales involving Research In Motion Ltd., which is the company that manufacturers Blackberries.
Texan Longoria is accused of giving out confidential information about Advanced Micro Devices, where he used to work as a supply chain manager. Another Primary Global Research consultant, ex- Dell global supply manager Daniel Devore, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Devore has said that Primary Gold Research paid him approximately $145,000 to provide insider information to company employees and clients about Dell.
Related Web Resources:
Insider trading case focuses on Apple’s secrets, Victoria Advocate/AP, December 16, 2010
Four more arrests in insider trading case involving Primary Global Research, SFGate, December 16, 2010
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