Witness Says Fleishman Marketed Insider Info

Sep 2 2011 | 10:04am ET

In the fourth insider-trading trial this year, federal prosecutors again went to the tapes yesterday, allowing jurors to hear former Primary Global Research sales executive James Fleishman's voice for the first time.

Prosecutors played a phone call taped by cooperating witness Karl Motey, their first witness against Fleishman, who is accused of arranging calls in which hedge funds and other Primary Global clients received confidential information.

In the phone call from May 2009, Fleishman told Motey, who had said he was considering launching a hedge fund, that Primary Global's expert consultants could provide information "to prove or disprove your model."

Asked by Motey, who heads a California research firm, if those consultants could get specific information, Fleishman said, "In Taiwan, who are seeing stuff on a day-to-day basis that can say, "Hey, here's how things are shaping up form June."

"I took it to mean that they had people who'd be able to give me daily updates on a particular company, even on a day-to-day basis," Motey, who has pleaded guilty in the case, testified.

Indeed, in a phone call with a Primary Global expert later that month, also played for the jury, Motey said he received Marvell Technology Group's revenue expectations and the average gross margin for one of its businesses.

"I was very surprised," Motey said. "That's not a public number for the company as far as I knew at the time."

Motey said that Primary Global did not provide last names or contact information for experts to clients "to protect them from investor relations."

"What I meant was in my experience, investor relations keeps a very tight control over who gets to talk and what message gets out," he testified. "Investor relations would not want employees to be talking to investors."

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