Fleishman Asks Judge to Bar Use of Insider Trading Wiretaps

James Fleishman, a former Primary Global Research LLC sales manager charged in an insider trading investigation, asked a judge to suppress evidence derived from wiretaps of more than 100 callers to the so-called expert networking firm.

Ethan Balogh, a lawyer for Fleishman, told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan that authorities failed to prove they needed the wiretaps to pursue the investigation. The evidence shouldn’t be used against his client, he argued.

“This wiretap of these lines was not necessary,” Balogh said at a court hearing today.

Fleishman is scheduled to be tried on two counts of conspiracy Aug. 29. Rakoff, who will preside over the trial, said he will decide by Aug. 8 whether to grant Fleishman’s request, or to hold an evidentiary hearing.

Primary Global, based in Mountain View, California, is at the center of a nationwide probe of insider trading at hedge funds, technology companies, banks and consulting firms. Winifred Jiau, a former Primary Global consultant, was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy on June 20 after a trial before Rakoff.

The wiretap application targeted particular identification numbers assigned to Primary Global employees and clients, which were used to access conference calls between expert consultants and Primary Global clients, mostly hedge funds and mutual funds.

In October 2009, U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy signed an order permitting the government to listen in on two conference lines used by Primary Global. Fleishman argued in court papers that the wiretap request targeted at least 93 Primary Global clients not suspected of any crime and was therefore too broad.

The case is U.S. v. Fleishman, 11-CR-32, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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