Primary Global CEO ‘Co-Conspirator’ in Scheme, U.S. Alleges

Primary Global CEO ‘Co-Conspirator’ in Scheme, U.S. Alleges
James Fleishman, a former sales manager at Primary Global Research LLC, right, leaves federal court with attorney Ethan Balogh in New York, U.S. Photographer: Jeremy Bales/Bloomberg

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Unni Narayanan, the chief executive officer of Primary Global Research LLC, an expert networking firm, was a “co-conspirator” in an insider-trading scheme, prosecutors said in court papers.

The government’s allegation was made public today in a filing by a defense attorney for James Fleishman, a former Primary Global sales manager facing an Aug. 29 insider-trading trial in Manhattan federal court. The defense lawyer, Ethan Balogh, attached a July 15 letter from prosecutors that listed the “identity of coconspirators” as Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer Phani Saripella and other Primary Global employees.

The government identified the individuals in response to a defense request for the names of people allegedly involved in the insider scheme.

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.

The firm connects investors with employees of public companies who purportedly provide them with insight into specific markets.

Winifred Jiau, a consultant for Primary Global, was convicted of leaking insider information in June.

Neither Narayanan nor Saripella has been criminally charged with wrongdoing.

Company Spokesman

Dan Charnas, a spokesman for Primary Global, declined to comment. Reached at his home in California, Narayanan also declined to comment, as did Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York.

Prosecutors say Fleishman, of Santa Clara, California, helped pass leaks from Primary Global’s consultants to the firm’s clients.

The defense filing by Balogh also includes an Aug. 15 letter from prosecutors that names four other Primary Global consultants as co-conspirators who allegedly leaked inside information about sales numbers, shipment forecasts and profit margins.

They are employees of STMicroelectronics NV, AT&T Wireless, Samsung Semiconductor Inc. and Broadcom Corp. None of the individuals has been criminally charged.

A call to Geneva-based STMicroelectronics wasn’t answered. Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, John Lucas, a spokesman for Samsung Semiconductor, and Karen Kahn, a spokeswoman for Broadcom, declined to comment.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: David Glovin in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at