A former AT&T executive has plead guilty to charges of insider trading, admitting that he was part of an alleged “expert-network ring” that shared corporate secrets with hedge fund consultants who’d pass the information onto clients and investors.
The executive is 57-year-old Alnoor Ebrahim, who told US District Hudge Paul Oetken today that he “provided insider information concerning AT&T’s sales of Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry products, as well as other handset set devices sold through AT&T distribution channels.” Ebrahim plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, and is expected to face a maximum sentence of two years in prison after a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Ebrahim’s involvement in the expert-network ring came to light as part of another investigation on behalf of an ongoing crackdown of insider trading; he was initially identified in court papers by James Fleishman, who was himself imprisoned last year on conspiracy charges. He’s also not the only executive to admit to leaking information about Apple product; earlier this year, an unidentified Goldman Sachs employee was accused of doing that same thing to a hedge fund manager. Curiously enough, both that case and Ebrahim’s came to light as a result of another investigation, this time into former Goldman Sachs board memner Rajan Gupta. Gupta himself isn’t related to any Apple leaks that anyone knows of to date – he’s been investigated for possible leaks about his own company and Proctor & Gamble – but apparently, he’s very Apple-adjacent.
For its part, AT&T is responding with an appropriately responsible, shocked tone. “We took this matter very seriously, and co-operated fully with the authorities,” company spokesman Marty Richman told Reuters, adding that “the conduct alleged was clearly against our code of business conduct, and Mr. Ebrahim is no longer at AT&T employee.”