New suspect charged in US insider trading probe
LOS ANGELES — US prosecutors have charged a California woman with insider trading for selling secret information for over 200,000 dollars, the latest arrest in a widening probe, officials said.
Winifred Jiau, aka “Wini,” was arrested Tuesday on charges filed in New York and appeared in court in the western US state of California on Wednesday, the Justice Department said.
Specifically she allegedly conspired to commit securities fraud by selling non-public information about publicly traded companies to multiple hedge funds “for the purpose of executing profitable securities transactions.”
The alleged offences occurred between 2006 and December 2008, and involved information about publicly-traded companies including NVIDIA Corporation and Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
One of the hedge funds made profits of more than 820,000 dollars from trading in Marvell securities on the basis of the information provided by Jiau, who was arrested at her home in Fremont, California.
The charges were announced by Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The most serious of the charges — securities fraud — carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to five million dollars.
Earlier this month US authorities announced the arrest of five people suspected of providing confidential information on companies, including Apple, as part of a massive insider-trading probe.
James Fleishman, an executive with “expert-networking” firm Primary Global Research, was among four people arrested for allegedly “conspiring to provide confidential information” to clients, which include hedge funds.
Mark Longoria, Walter Shimoon and Manosha Karunatilaka were also arrested for allegedly providing non-public information to Fleishman’s company.
A fifth man, Daniel Devore, formerly of Dell, pleaded guilty on December 10 for providing confidential information about the computer maker and its clients to Primary Global Research, the authorities said.
Primary Global Research gave the four consultants tens of thousands of dollars for their services that reached a total of more than 400,000 dollars.
The FBI raided the offices of three hedge funds last month in connection to the probe into insider trading involving dozens of high-profile financial firms.
The investigation is thought to be focused on a vast network of dozens of consultants and traders across the financial industry that could reveal a pervasive culture of backroom dealing.