Hedge Fund Tipster Jiau Sentenced To Four Years

Sep 22 2011 | 2:00am ET

Winifred Jiau, the former Primary Global Research consultant convicted of selling confidential information to hedge fund managers, won't be getting out of jail anytime soon.

Jiau, who has been behind bars since her arrest in December, was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday. She was convicted in June of conspiracy and securities fraud as part of the U.S. Justice Department's crackdown on expert networks. Jiau is one of 15 people to be charged in the case and one of two to be convicted by a jury. A dozen others pleaded guilty, including several who testified at her trial.

Hedge fund managers Samir Barai, of Barai Capital Management, and Noah Freeman, formerly of SAC Capital Advisors, said that they had received insider information from Jiau.

Jiau, who denied any wrongdoing, apologized to family and friends, saying, "I'm truly sorry for being here." She also took the time to offer her apologies to her dog, telling the golden retriever, "I'm sorry I broke my promise to take care of you and be with you."

In imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff effectively split the difference between what each side sought: Prosecutors had called for a sentence of between eight and 10 years, while Jiau's lawyer asked for 18 months.

"There are certain things the court can't ignore," Rakoff said. "This was a serious crime, going to the integrity of the financial markets, engaged in for a period of up to two years. That alone requires some meaningful sentence."

But the judge rejected the "arithmetic certainty" of federal sentencing guidelines which called for up to eight years.

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