Today Tony Longoria, a manager at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), was arrested for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud as part of an FBI crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.
According to the US government, it’s alleged that Longoria knew one or multiple people in AMD’s finance department that would supply him with quarterly earnings numbers hours before they went public. Longoria would in turn pass these results off to investment managers at Primary Global Research.
When asked by investigators back in 2009 who was supplying him with the details, Longoria answered, “Yeah, I’ve got a buddy that works in, in finance, that, uh, gives, uh, me all the, uh, nitty gritty details, probably more than I can understand.”
Even after being interviewed by police and watching nearly two dozen industry colleagues go down in last year’s government probe into Wall Street, the main culprits, Longoria and James Fleishman, an expert networking executive at PGR continued to trade sensitive information.
The result? A competitive trading advantage and big, big money. Arrested in the sting includes Mark Anthony Longoria, Walter Shimoon, James Fleishman and Manosha Karunatilaka.
As a “consultant” for Primary Global Research, Longoria offered hedge fund clients information and guaranteed complete privacy. His partner Fleishman went so far as to say, “We don’t listen to the call or, or record the call or anything.”
Ironically, telephone conversations between Longoria and hedge fund managers from Primary Global Research were being recorded by the U.S. government. Although spoken in fairly transparent “code,” these conversations focused on acquiring non-public information.
In an official statement from AMD, representatives said, “It appears that AMD is the victim of an insider trading scheme. Tony Longoria – a former AMD employee – has been charged this morning with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Longoria started his employment with AMD in January, 2007 and resigned his employment on Oct 22, 2010.”
As far as how AMD will recover they assure the public that “AMD has been cooperating with the US attorney’s office and will continue to do so. AMD has a clear and comprehensive policy regarding insider trading and a worldwide insider trading training program. AMD additionally has policies regarding work by its employees outside of AMD including consulting arrangements such as the so-called expert networks that appear to be at the heart of the government’s insider trading investigations.”
No word yet on whether there will be more arrests as part of the FBI Wall Street probe.