Ex-TSMC man spills beans on insider trading

Hot off the heels of Rajaratnam’s sentencing, comes another, seperate inside trader case that brushes past the lucrative technology and chip sector. Ex-TSMC employee Manosha Karunatilaka has pleaded guilty to charges in an alleged insider-trading scheme – involving a company going under the name Primary Global Research.  

The former account manager at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)  
told Manhattan District judge Jed Rakoff the expert networking outfit  had offered to pay him $200 per conversation. He added: “I knew that some of the information I was sharing was nonpublic and confidential to TSMC.”

That didn’t stop him, though, and as a result he raked in a tidy $35,000. Of course he kept schtum in telling TSMC about his philandering.  

Speaking of Mr Karunatilaka’s case, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: “Manosha Karunatilaka thought he could moonlight for an expert networking firm and sell out his employer in the process.

“With today’s guilty plea, it should now be abundantly clear that his short-term financial gain was hardly worth it.”

Mr Karunatilaka and his crew are believed to have participated in the conspiracy between 2008 and 2010. They are said to have used an expert networking firm to disguise their going-ons and hid here when they wanted to make “consultation calls.”

The court gave an example of a telephone conversation that took place in October 2009 where it claimed that Mr Karunatilaka talked to a technology analyst at a financial institution in New York. He then allegedly provided non-public information about TSMC and TSMC’s customers.

Mr Karunatilaka, who was arrested in December last year along with some of his pals, admitted guilt, as well as making further calls which he estimated led to trading gains of over $1 million.

He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

However, he’ll have to wait a few months for the verdict. He’s scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff on September 15.