Former Samsung Electronics Co. manager, Suk-Joo Hwang, provided some pretty interesting testimony yesterday during the insider trading trial of Primary Global Research LLC executive James Fleishman, but not before being granted immunity from prosecution by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.
Suk-Joo Hwang indicated that after meeting Fleishman and a hedge fund manager for lunch at a restaurant in Mountain View, California, he disclosed a number of details that were intended to be kept confidential in exchange for money cleverly referred to as consultation fees. These fees added up to over US$38,000 between 2004 to 2010.
The information Suk-Joo Hwang provided to Fleishman was related mainly to Samsung’s shipment of liquid crystal display screens requested by Apple and also the shipment numbers for the upcoming Apple tablet. (at that time the iPad didn’t have a name and was known only in generic terms)
The theme of the testimony seems to be regret and remorse, but clearly that did not outweigh the benefits Suk-Joo Hwang was receiving.
Samsung fired Suk-Joo Hwang in June 2011 but has not pressed any charges to date. Because of his immunity, any evidence he provides in this case cannot be used against him unless he is found to have committed perjury. With his testimony scheduled to continue today I would suspect his intention is to air any and all details he is able to protect himself from future legal consequences.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has been actively pursuing Fleishman and several others, including Flextronics senior business director Walter Shimoon, AMD supply-chain manager Mark Anthony Longoria, former Dell global supply manager Daniel DeVore, and Bob Nguyen from Primary Global Research in relation to this case. Shimoon pleaded guilty earlier this year but is still awaiting sentencing.
The electronics giant has thus far declined to comment on this testimony.
[via Bloomberg Businessweek]