Primary Global Consultant 'Pretty Scared' After Rajaratnam Arrest

Sep 14 2011 | 12:52pm ET

A former consultant for Primary Global Research had as many as 600 conversations with clients of the expert-network, passing along confidential information—sometimes true—about his employer, Advanced Micro Devices.

Mark Longoria, identified earlier in the trial of Primary Global sales executive James Fleishman as the company's most popular expert, testified that he was "pretty scared" and "pretty paranoid" following the arrest of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam two years ago.

"I thought I was the individual giving out information that they were referring to," he told the jury yesterday.

He wasn't: Rajaratnam, who was convicted earlier this year of insider-trading, was getting his tips about AMD from a former McKinsey & Co. managing director. But he was scared enough to call Fleishman—a call recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and played for the jury.

"Do you guys do business with Galleon?" Longoria, who has pleaded guilty in the case and is cooperating with prosecutors, asked. "I wasn't sure. I was like really getting nervous. I said, 'Man, that name sounds familiar' and then it even said in there that they were trading AMD. And I was like, 'Oh crap!' It made me extremely nervous. I'm like, 'God dang it! What the hell is going on?'"

Fleishman assured Longoria, "I know I can tell you point blank they are not a client."

Longoria, who testified that he passed information about AMD to Fleishman and Primary Global clients "two or three times" but could not remember specifics, said he was paid $300 per call. He also testified that he both made up some of his tips and that he billed Primary Global for calls that he never had.

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