Ruling Next Week On Primary Global Wiretaps

Aug 2 2011 | 11:24am ET

The federal judge presiding over the trial of former expert-network salesman James Fleishman said he could rule next week on whether prosecutors can use wiretaps in the case.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said yesterday that he'll either rule next week on Fleishman's request to exclude the wiretaps or order an evidentiary hearing. If Fleishman succeeds in getting the taps quashed, he'll be the first defendant in either the expert network or Galleon Group insider-trading cases to do so.

Ethan Balogh, Fleishman's lawyer, has argued that the taps were both overly broad and unnecessary, because prosecutors had already won the cooperation of three men who could have been used to tape calls with Primary Global Research, Fleishman's former company.

"The wiretap of those lines was not necessary," Balogh said at yesterday's hearing.

Fleishman is set to stand trial on conspiracy charges later this month. He is one of 14 people, including hedge fund managers and employees, charged in the case; the other 13 have either pleaded guilty or been convicted.

Prosecutors in New York are five-for-five in winning convictions against accused insider-traders, including that of former PGR consultant Winifred Jiau in June. That case did not rely on any wiretaps, but none of the four defendants to have faced trial in the Galleon case were able to convince a judge to toss the wiretaps in their case.

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