Insider information. You want to profit from Apple’s stock, and are willing to do anything to get there? Forget #blamelion. Insider trading is how the big boys play. That is, until they get caught.
According to Bloomberg, Suk-Joo Hwang, a 14-year veteran at Samsung’s U.S. division, testified in court this week that he leaked confidential shipment estimates for the as yet unnamed Apple iPad in December of 2009 to James Fleishman and a hedge fund manager during a lunch in Mountain View, California. Fleishman is charged along with several others in connection with an insider trading scheme in which employees at various companies gave confidential information to fund managers who were clients of Primary Global Research, an expert network firm.
Hwang gave them information about the tablet LCD’s that Samsung was supplying to Apple. “One particular thing I remember vividly was that I talked about the shipment numbers of Apple, it was about iPad,” he said. “This is in December 2009, before it came out with the tablet PC, they didn’t know the name then, so I talked to them about the tablet shipment estimates in that meeting.”
Hwang noticed a man at a nearby table staring at them intently, and began to worry that he might be an Apple employee. “After I said it, I looked around,” Hwang is quoted as saying. “The first thing I thought was ‘Wow, I said it too loud’ and then I really freaked out.”
Shortly after the lunch meeting, Hwang was informed by a colleague that Samsung had lost a supply contract with Apple, and he grew concerned that he would be discovered as a leak.
For his part in this, Hwang will not face charges, having been granted immunity by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. Hwang no longer works at Samsung.
And after this week’s testimony, he likely won’t be working at any other tech companies either.