Photo: Flickr Jeff Wilcox
A former Samsung manager testified yesterday that he leaked information about iPad shipments to a hedge fund manager four months before Apple launched the tablet.Samsung’s Suk-Hoo Hwang was granted immunity to testify in the insider trading trial of James Fleishman, a former vice president at expert-network firm Primary Global. Fleishman was charged as part of the FBI’s investigation that also implicated Raj Rajaratnam — he was caught on tape saying “Oh crap” after Raj was arrested.
According to Bloomberg, Hwang testified that he met Fleishman and a hedge fund manager named “Greg” for lunch in Mountain View in December 2009 and explained that Samsung was supplying screens for the upcoming Apple tablet, which hadn’t been announced yet.
The hedge fund manager didn’t know about the iPad, although journalists had been reporting that Apple was working on a tablet since August 2009. Hwang describes him as being “very excited.”
During their conversation, Hwang saw a man at a nearby tablet staring at them and thought it might be an Apple employee. He turned his Samsung badge around so the man wouldn’t be able to identify him.
Shortly after that, Samsung lost a supply contact with Apple for a different product.
“I thought, ‘Oh that guy was an Apple guy and they found out,” Hwang testified.
FBI agents later approached Hwang, and Samsung fired him in June 2011. He has not been charged with any crime.
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