Ex-AMD Employee Longoria Will Plead Guilty, His Lawyer Says

Mark Anthony Longoria, a former employee of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) arrested in December in an investigation of insider trading, will plead guilty today, his lawyer said.

Longoria, 45, of Round Rock, Texas, is to appear before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York this afternoon. His lawyer, Jonathan Marks, said in a telephone interview that his client would plead guilty. He declined to comment further. Marks said in March that Longoria was in plea talks with prosecutors.

Longoria is accused of giving inside information about AMD to clients of Primary Global Research LLC, a consulting company in Mountain View, California, that provides experts to investors.

He was one of four people arrested in December in a nationwide federal investigation of illegal hedge fund trading. The probe was done by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan.

More than a dozen people have been charged by Bharara’s office since November in cases tied to so-called expert networking firms. The consulting firms match hedge funds with industry experts who provide market advice. A broader U.S. probe has implicated hedge funds, banks and insiders at technology companies.

Fraud, Conspiracy Charges

Longoria, James Fleishman, Walter Shimoon and Manosha Karunatilaka were charged with fraud and conspiracy and face as many as 20 years in prison on the most serious counts, Bharara’s office said.

Fleishman faces trial later this year before Rakoff. Karunatilaka, a former account manager at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., pleaded guilty in May to sharing nonpublic information about the firm with Primary Global clients.

Prosecutors have repeatedly filed requests with the court seeking adjournments in prosecuting both Shimoon and Longoria.

In court papers filed June 6, Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonia Apps sought a delay in the case of Shimoon, saying prosecutors and his lawyer “have had conversations regarding a possible disposition of this case.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis granted the request until July 6, 2011. Shimoon’s lawyer, Henry Mazurek, declined to comment.

Guilty Plea

A fifth man, Daniel DeVore, formerly a supply manager at Dell Inc. (DELL), was arrested in the same investigation and pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, according to prosecutors.

Winifred Jiau, a former consultant with Primary Global, was convicted June 20 of securities fraud and conspiracy in New York.

An SEC suit filed in February against Longoria, a former supply chain manager for Sunnyvale, California-based AMD, accused him of providing inside information about the chipmaker from 2007 to at least 2009, including information about sales, revenue and profit margins, before the company released the data.

Longoria had access to sales figures and obtained information about quarterly revenue and profit margins from another employee who worked in the company’s finance department, according to the SEC suit.

Longoria was paid $300 an hour for providing the information, and he received more than $130,000 from January 2008 to March 2010, the suit says. AMD’s code of conduct requires the company’s employees to keep non-public information confidential, the suit says.

The criminal case is U.S. vs. Shimoon, 10-mj-02823, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net; Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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