A former Samsung manager has admitted to supplying confidential Apple data to a hedge fund manager, supplying information on liquid crystal displays (LCD) used in the Cupertino-based company’s iPad, before it was due to launch.
BusinessWeek reports that Suk-Joo Hwang, a US-based Samsung employee, testified at the insider-trader trial of Primary Global Research, detailing a lunch meeting with Fleishman and a hedge fund manager, providing them with information on Apple’s plans to use Samsung screens in a new tablet device that was to become the iPad – four months before it was released.
“One particular thing I remember vividly was that I talked about the shipment numbers of Apple, it was about iPad,” he said. “This is in December 2009, before it came out with the tablet PC, they didn’t know the name then, so I talked to them about the tablet shipment estimates in that meeting.”
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Fleishman is charged with running a scheme that saw employees of private companies pass confidential information to clients of Primary Global, charges that could ensure a sentence of 25 years if convicted.
When Fleishman and the hedge fund manager, known as “Greg”, were passed the information, Hwang said that “they didn’t know about it,” adding that the fund manager “was very excited.”
Soon after disclosing the information, Hwang said he instructed the two men not to share the information, but noticed a man at a nearby table was interested in the conversation. Fearing he had disclosed the information publicly and that the man could be an Apple employee, Hwang gestured to cover his name badge and soon began to worry that he would be named as the source for a leak.
Not long after the lunch, Samsung lost a supply contract with Apple – it is not known whether this was as a result of Hwang’s disclosure. He was later fired by Samsung in June 2011 but says he has not been accused of any crimes.