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Primary Global CEO alleged to be insider-trading 'co-conspirator'

August 23, 2011|Bloomberg News

Unni Narayanan, the chief executive of Mountain View, Calif.-based Primary Global Research, was a "co-conspirator" in an insider-trading scheme, prosecutors allege in court papers.

The government's allegation was made public Tuesday in a filing by a defense attorney for James Fleishman, a former Primary Global sales manager who faces an insider-trading trial Monday in Manhattan federal court. The defense lawyer, Ethan Balogh, attached a July 15 letter from prosecutors that listed the "identity of co-conspirators" as Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer Phani Saripella and other Primary Global employees.

The government identified the individuals in response to a defense request for the names of people allegedly involved in the scheme.

Primary Global is at the center of a nationwide probe of insider trading at hedge funds, technology companies, banks and consulting firms.

The firm connects investors with employees of public companies who purportedly provide them with insight into specific markets.

Winifred Jiau, a consultant for Primary Global, was convicted of leaking insider information in June.

Neither Narayanan nor Saripella has been criminally charged with wrongdoing.

Dan Charnas, a spokesman for Primary Global, declined to comment. Reached at his home in California, Narayanan also declined to comment, as did Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara in New York.

Prosecutors say Fleishman, of Santa Clara, Calif., helped pass leaks from Primary Global's consultants to the firm's clients.

The defense filing by Balogh also includes an Aug. 15 letter from prosecutors that names four other Primary Global consultants as co-conspirators who allegedly leaked inside information about sales numbers, shipment forecasts and profit margins.

They are employees of STMicroelectronics, AT&T Wireless, Samsung Semiconductor and Broadcom. None of the individuals has been criminally charged.

A call to Geneva-based STMicroelectronics wasn't answered. Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, John Lucas, a spokesman for Samsung Semiconductor, and Karen Kahn, a spokeswoman for Broadcom, declined to comment.

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