NEW YORK – The government on Friday strengthened its insider trading case against a former consultant for a California research firm by securing guilty pleas and cooperation deals with a former hedge fund portfolio manager and a technology company's senior financial analyst.
The pleas by Samir Barai, of Manhattan, and Son Ngoc Nguyen, of San Jose, Calif., included admissions that they had conspired with Winifred Jiau, a former Primary Global Research employee who's set to go on trial in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.
Jiau was charged with securities fraud in a probe of securities industry workers who pass off inside information as legitimate research after convincing employees of public companies to provide information about their companies before it is made public. She has pleaded not guilty.
Barai, the 39-year-old owner of the Barai Capital Management hedge fund, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and obstruction after he was arrested in February. Barai admitted during his plea Friday that he instructed a research analyst to shred evidence last November after hearing about the probe. He said he engaged in a scheme to benefit from inside information from 2006 through 2010 and some of his illegal secrets came from Jiau.
"I deeply regret all of my actions in this case," he said.
His Manhattan sentencing is set for Aug. 29.
Earlier Friday, Nguyen, a 39-year-old senior financial analyst at computer chips manufacturer Nvidia Corp., pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in the case in a cooperation deal. He admitted that he shared inside information with Jiau from 2007 through early 2009.
Prosecutors allege that the deal among Nguyen, Jiau and a co-conspirator who worked in the finance department of Marvell Technology Group Ltd. called for her to provide inside information about Nvidia and Marvell to Nguyen. Prosecutors said the deal also required that she provide Nguyen and the co-conspirator with stock tips that she learned from contacts she had at various companies.
There are no allegations of wrongdoing against Nvidia or Marvell.
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