Managers at three major chip firms have been charged with insider trading by the US FBI.
Taiwan Semiconductor account manager Manosha Karunatilaka, AMD supply chain manager Mark Anthony Longoria, and Flextronics senior director of business development Walter Shimoon are among five men charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.
The FBI alleges the defendants were paid $400,000 (€304,000) to participate in phone calls with clients of Primary Global – a networking company that matches investors with specialists who provide insight into specific markets – during which they supplied information that went “way beyond permissible market research.”
All three were employed as consultants for Primary Global Research between 2008 and early 2010, and exposed secrets relating to Apple, RIM, Sierra Wireless and Broadcom, WSJ.com reported.
According to the official complaint, Shimoon revealed Apple’s plans for the iPad and the iPhone 4 in an October 2009 phone call.
The FBI says its investigation is continuing, with plans to go after hedge funds suspected of paying for inside information, Bloomberg reported.
James Fleischman, a sales manager at Primary Global, was also arrested for conspiring to provide confidential information to clients, including hedge funds.
A fifth man, Daniel Devore, a former global supply manager at computer maker Dell who also worked as a consultant to Primary Global, pled guilty to charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud on December 10.