Primary Global Trial Testimony Ends With iPad Tip

Sep 16 2011 | 4:54am ET

The trial of former Primary Global Research salesman James Fleishman drew to a close yesterday—with Fleishman declining to take the stand, or put up a defense of any kind.

Both the prosecution and defense in the insider-trading case rested yesterday. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said that closing arguments would be held on Monday, after which he said he’d hand the case to the jury.

Prosecutors say Fleishman helped arrange phone calls and meetings between Primary Global clients, among them many hedge funds, and its consultants, mainly corporate insiders. Fleishman has denied the allegations—one of three of the 15 people charged in the case not to plead guilty. He claims his work was legitimate and that he did not know that his consultants were trading in confidential information.

The last witness in the case was former Samsung Electronics Co. manager Suk-Joo Hwang. Yesterday, he testified that he tipped off a hedge fund manager named “Greg” about Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet four months before its release—with Fleishman present.

Hwang said the hedge fund manager was “very excited” about the tip. He told the jury that “Greg” and Fleishman “didn’t know” about the iPad, which Samsung was providing screens for.

Hwang was granted immunity from prosecution for his testimony. On the stand, Hwang admitted that he had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when they approached him in October. And under cross-examination, he admitted that he continued to pass tips to fund managers even after he stopped working for Primary Global.

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