Wireless exec jailed for Blackberry leak

BlackberryA former wireless retail executive has been jailed for five months for selling confidential industry information to an analyst.

James Dunham, 60, was also ordered by US District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston to serve five months of home confinement following his prison term and to pay $76,000, after pleading guilty in June to wire fraud.

It is being seen as the first case spilling out of its investigations into the black market for secret corporate information that exists outside of insider trading.

Dunham, a resident of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was the former chief operating officer of Wireless Zone, which operates over 400 franchise Verizon Wireless outlets.

The court claimed that Dunham entered a secret consulting relationship with an analyst at Boston-based financial firm Detwiler Fenton in 2010 to provide wireless industry information in exchange for $2,000 per month.

Prosecutors said the information gave the analyst “real time” insight into what happened at the franchiser’s stores and was used for research reports sent to investors.

The scheme came to light in April 2013 after Dunham provided information about a company’s new smartphone, prosecutors said.

Dunham told the analyst, Jeff Johnston that returns of the Blackberry X exceeded sales at some of the franchiser’s stores, Detwiler Fenton issued a report based on that information.

BlackBerry’s stock price subsequently fell 7 percent. The company disputed the report as “false” and urged regulators to investigate.

Prosecutors said the information was accurate as far as the franchiser’s stores went, though may not have been with respect to overall sales and returns.