Federal agents made five arrests related to the big insider trading probe in whether nonpublic information is being leaked from corporations to hedge funds and investors through so-called expert networks. Four were consultants for expert network firm Primary Global Research while a fifth was a sales executive at the firm. FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk said, "The information trafficked by the four 'consultants' went way beyond permissible market research. It was insider information."
The Wall Street Journal reports, "According to prosecutors, the information shared included sales details about some of the most popular technology products, such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone, and some of the largest technology companies, such as Dell Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Flextronics International Ltd." For instance, one of those arrested, Walter Shimoon, 39, worked for Flextronics, which makes components for Apple; he allegedly passed along confidential information.
Shimoon and three others—James Fleishman, a vice president and sales manager at Primary Global; and consultants Mark Anthony Longoria, a supply-chain manager with AMD and Manosha Karunatilaka, an account manager at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., were charged with fraud and conspiracy while Daniel Devore, former global supply manager at Dell, already pleaded guilty to those charges. The WSJ notes:
According to Thursday's criminal complaint, some of the corporate executives who served as consultants to investors seemed to devote a great deal of time to their side work. Mr. Longoria, for example, participated in 40 phone calls with investors over a 60-day period in early 2009, according to an email message from Mr. Fleishman, the Primary Global executive, detailed in the criminal complaint.
The consultants were paid $400,000.