Wesley Wang, a hedge fund consultant who worked for Trellus Management and Sigma Capital, a division of SAC Capital Advisors LP, admitted that he passed inside information about Cisco Systems Inc., Polycom Inc. and Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
Wang, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in Manhattan federal court, according to a transcript of the July 13 hearing. He’s set to testify against Doug Whitman, the hedge fund founder indicted in February on charges of insider trading, at a trial slated to begin July 30, according to a filing by prosecutors in Whitman’s case.
In the hearing, Wang admitted he passed tips to Dipak Patel, a former portfolio manager at Sigma Capital, while he worked for the New York-based unit of SAC Capital from 2002 to 2005. Patel hasn’t been charged.
Wang also said he traded inside tips with Whitman and with Thomas Hardin, the former analyst at Lanexa Global Management LP known as “Tipper X” in the Galleon Group LLC insider-trading case, when he worked worked for New York-based Trellus from 2005 to 2008. Wang was paid $1.5 million for his work for the hedge fund, according to the criminal charges filed against him.
Wang was released on his own recognizance at the end of the hearing. A sentencing date wasn’t set. Wang’s lawyer, Michael Celio, yesterday declined to comment on the charges.
Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for SAC Capital, had no immediate comment on Wang’s allegations. A representative of Trellus Management didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message after regular business hours yesterday seeking comment on Wang. Patel couldn’t be located for comment.
In a July 16 court filing in the Whitman case, prosecutors said Whitman and Wang shared information from 2002 to 2009. Whitman’s lawyers are trying to block Wang from testifying about insider tips that aren’t included in the criminal charges.
“It is extraordinary, in my experience, that the prosecution would be adding a witness like Wes Wang this close to the trial,” said David Anderson, who represents Whitman.
Anderson said the move may be a sign prosecutors feel they need to bolster the testimony of their star witnesses, Roomy Khan and Karl Motey.
Prosecutors claim Whitman received material nonpublic information from Khan, a former Intel Corp. executive who aided the prosecution of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam and Motey, an independent consultant. Both have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the government.
Hardin, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud in 2010, is awaiting sentencing.
The case is U.S. v. Wang, 12-cr-00541, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).