August 15, 2022

DealBook: Consultant for Expert Network Is Convicted in Insider Trading Case

A jury has found a former consultant at a so-called expert network firm guilty on insider trading charges, giving federal prosecutors a fresh win in its pursuit of illegal activity at hedge funds.

Winifred Jiau, the consultant, was convicted after one day of jury deliberations. The government had accused her of passing secret corporate information to her hedge fund clients. Ms. Jiau, 43, faces as long as 25 years in prison.

Joanna Hendon, a lawyer for Ms. Jiau, said her client would appeal the verdict. Ms. Jiau, who remains in custody, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21.

The trial was the first involving an expert network firm, a niche Wall Street business that serves as a middleman, matching money managers with industry experts, including employees of public companies.

Ms. Jiau worked for Primary Global Research, which is based in Mountain View, Calif. Federal prosecutors have charged at least seven people connected to the firm with crimes related to insider trading.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have now won all three insider trading trials that they have prosecuted over the last two months, including the conviction of the hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.

Over the past two years, the United States attorney’s office has charged 49 individuals with crimes related to insider trading; of those, 44 have now either been convicted or pleaded guilty.

Several cooperating witnesses testified at Ms. Jiau’s trial. Sonny Nguyen, a former employee at Nvidia, admitted to leaking confidential financial data to Ms. Jiau. And Noah Freeman, a former hedge fund portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors, admitted to receiving illegal stock tips from Ms. Jiau.

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