Three people who were arrested by the federal agents last month in an operation seen as part of a widening probe into insider trading were granted bail on Tuesday.
Walter Shimoon, 39, of San Diego, California, who worked as a senior director of business development at Flextronics International Ltd, a Singapore-headquartered company that makes power adapters and other parts for Apple and other big tech companies; Mark Anthony Longoria, 44, who was employed by chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc as a supply chain manager in Round Rock, Texas; and James Fleishman, a sales executive at Primary Global Research, a California-based expert network firm, were granted bail on Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis of Manhattan federal court
Judge Francis approved bonds of $150,000 for Shimoon, $50,000 for Longoria and $700,000 for Fleishman. The court has also imposed some travel restrictions on them. Their next appearance has been scheduled for February 3.
Shimoon, Longoria and Fleishman were arrested on Dec. 16 as part of a probe into insider trading by federal prosecutors in New York and they have been accused of leaking inside secrets about technology companies to hedge funds.
According to the federal agents, Fleishman had hired the other two to work as 'consultants' to fund managers on the tech industry. But all that these so-called 'consultants' did were leak inside secrets about technology companies to hedge funds.
Shimoon, for instance, had leaked inside information about the release of the Apple iPad as well as the new features of the updated version of the iPhone as early as 2009. Flextronics, as a parts supplier, was privy to those details. Both the iPad as well as the new iPhone 4 was launched earlier this year.
Longoria had told several Primary Global clients about AMD's second-quarter 2009 financial results, including average sales prices, product sales figures, and gross margin information, before they were officially released.
Hedge funds pay networking firms to be linked up with 'industry experts,' who are supposed to offer insight on trends and how sectors work. However, in this case the 'experts' were revealing information about sales and profits that gave certain investors an edge in trading, the government said.
It is believed that those granted bail will negotiate favorable terms with U.S. prosecutors before they are formally indicted.
Last month, Daniel DeVore, formerly a global supply manager for Dell, had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges, according to court records.
DeVore, like Shimoon and Longoria, had worked as a consultant for Primary Global Research and, while employed at Dell as a global supply manager, DeVore had provided confidential information about Dell and Dell's suppliers, including inside information, to clients of Primary Global, including hedge funds.
A former independent consultant in California to hedge funds, Karl Motey, is also cooperating in the investigation and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud charges.
Another consultant, Winifred Jiau, was arrested by the federal authorities on charges related to her involvement in an insider trading scheme and was detained for the New Year weekend.
Jiau was arrested on two charges of conspiring to commit securities fraud and engaging in securities fraud by selling material, non-public information (inside information) about Marvell Technology Group and Nvidia Corporation to Primary Global clients who were portfolio managers at hedge funds. Jiau sold the information between 2006 and December 2008 and received over $200,000 as payment.
On Monday, a federal magistrate judge declined to grant bail to Jiau, who prosecutors consider a flight risk.
The case is USA v Shimoon et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-mj-2823.