An ex-AT&T employee may wind up in prison after admitting he provided confidential sales data about Apple and Research In Motion, later used as insider information.
The defendant, Alnoor Ebrahim, entered a guilty plea this week in federal court to a count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, BGR News reported.
The AT&T-related data was used by traders who later bought shares of stock, according to Reuters. Among the secret information was a statement about how many iPhones AT&T expected to sell in a given quarter.
"I provided insider information concerning AT&T's sales of Apple's iPhone and RIM's … BlackBerry products, as well as other handset set devices sold through AT&T distribution channels," Ebrahim said before NY federal Judge Paul Oetken.
Ebrahim earned about $180,000 in exchange for sharing the confidential information. He got the money while working as a consultant for the expert-network firm called Primary Global Research LLC – while working concurrently for AT&T.
Prosecutors want Ebrahim to be sentenced to two years in a federal prison.
"I knew that what I was doing was wrong," Ebrahim said in a court statement. "I knew I breached my fiduciary duty to AT&T."
The guilty plea is part of a larger insider trading prosecution coordinated by federal authorities.
Last week, Rajat Gupta, a former board member at Goldman Sachs Group, was convicted on charges of insider trading. After a lengthy federal trial, Gupta was convicted on four counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. Gupta allegedly leaked corporate secrets, according to news reports carried by TechZone360.
The former board member allegedly gave insider information to Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, who took advantage of the information by making trades at a profit, according to federal prosecutors.
The ongoing crackdown on insider trading has led to 63 of the 69 defendants charged in the inquiry to enter guilty pleas or being convicted of criminal charges.
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