Expert Networker Faces Trial In Insider-Trading Case

Jun 1 2011 | 4:44am ET

As the second Galleon Group insider-trading trial draws to a close, the first trial stemming from the Justice Department's ongoing insider-trading probe is schedule to begin in New York today.

Winifred Jiau, a former consultant with expert-network firm Primary Global Research, is charged with passing confidential information about two companies to two hedge fund managers. Jury selection is scheduled to begin before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff this morning in Manhattan.

Jiau is among 13 people charged in the case, which focuses on hedge funds' use of expert networks to obtain insider tips. Eight have pleaded guilty in the case, including both of the hedge fund managers Jiau is accused of tipping about Nvidia Corp. and Marvell Technology Group, Samir Barai and Noah Freeman.

Barai, of Barai Capital Management, entered his plea on Friday and is cooperating with prosecutors. At his allocution, Barai implicated Jiau, as did Sonny Nguyen, her alleged source at Nvidia, who also pleaded guilty on Friday and who is expected to testify against her.

Freeman, a former SAC Capital Advisors trader who is also cooperating with investigators, has also implicated Jiau. Freeman and another former SAC manager, Donald Longueuil, have admitted to paying as much as $10,000 each month to Jiau for tips. Former Barai analyst Jason Pflaum, who has also pleaded guilty, told prosecutors that he would listen in on calls between Barai and Jiau in which the latter passed on confidential information.

Jiau is the only one of the 13 people charged in the case to remain in jail; Rakoff ruled that the dual Taiwanese-U.S. citizen is a flight risk. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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