SEC charges six on Dell and AMD insider trading charges

It has been announced that the Security and Exchange Commission is filing charges against six individuals, including former Dell and AMD employees, for suspected insider trading.

Most of the six charged are thought to have been previously arrested on similar charges back in December, and are now being charged for criminal behaviour while working for a firm named Primary Global Research.

It is thought that these newest charges stem from an ongoing investigation into hedge funds which began in November as part of the federal government’s attempts to stamp out insider trading in the tech industry.

It is alleged by investigators that four employees, named as Mark Longoria, Daniel L. DeVore, Winifred Jiau and Walter Shimoon, were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees to work as expert consultants for Primary Global.

In this role they were paid to give expert advice to the firm and its clients, advice that could then be used to influence investment decsions.

However the SEC alleges that these four stepped out of line by offering non-pubilc information about their companies and other companies that they worked with.

It is alleged that such information was used to grab profits to the tune of $6 million according to the SEC.

The other two individuals charged with insider trading were Bob Nguyen and James Fleishman, though they were both also charged with helping the others in their illegal actions.

“Company executives and other insiders moonlighting as consultants to hedge funds cannot blatantly peddle their company’s confidential information for personal gain,” Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.

“These PGR consultants and employees schemed to facilitate widespread and repeated insider trading by several hedge funds and other investment professionals.”

It is alleged that Mark Longoria, a manager in AMD’s global operations group, supplied data with regards to AMD sales figures and financial numbers to Primary Global while collecting more than $300,000 in consulting fees.

Devore, a global supply manager at Dell, supposedly gave out info on Dell’s internal sales forecasts, pocketing around $145,000 in the process.

Jiau was used as a private expert who was able make available financial results of a number of companies before they were made public, netting $200,000.

Fleishman and Nguyen are accused of receiving specific inside information from the consultants and passing it on to Primary Global clients.

Shimoon, a vice president of business development at Flextronics, gained non-public information not only about Flextronics, but also such customers as Apple, Omnivision and RIM, and is said to have made around $13,000.

Longoria, Jiau, Shimoon and Fleishman reportedly had previously been arrested and charged in the case, and DeVore and Nguyen have pleaded guilty to their roles in the insider trading scheme.

The charges are more developments in the shady world of insider trading among tech companies that saw former IBM vice-president Robert Moffat sentenced to six months in the clink for similarly bad behaviour.