A former Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) employee who pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges and later testified for the U.S. at trials against others said he deserves probation, citing his cooperation with the government.
Mark Anthony Longoria, who is scheduled to be sentenced next month, told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan in a letter made public yesterday that he deeply regrets his criminal conduct and that he lost his home to foreclosure.
Longoria testified at the trial of James Fleishman, a Primary Global Research LLC executive convicted and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for helping pass inside information to hedge fund managers.
“I would like to apologize for the damage I have caused to others,” Longoria said in the letter dated June 5. “I’ve done so much soul searching since the beginning. What I often think about is that in wanting so much to take care of the people I love, I lost sight of what’s right and what’s wrong. I have lived in constant shame and misery and I wish I could go back and choose a different path.”
Defense lawyer Jonathan Marks said while his client could face a prison term of 15 to 21 months, Longoria deserves probation because his cooperation “outweighs the need to send him to prison.”
Longoria moonlighted as a consultant for Primary Global Research, a Mountain View, California-based firm also known as PGR that matched employees of public companies with fund managers for a fee.
In his sentencing memo, Marks said the only reason Longoria began working for the firm was that the financial crisis in 2008 left him unable to pay for school tuition for his daughters. Fleishman offered Longoria a chance to make some extra money, the lawyer said.
“He accepted, not out of greed but in order to support his family,” Marks wrote.
During Fleishman’s trial, defense lawyer Ethan Balogh confronted Longoria with records showing that he consulted for PGR months before Fleishman joined the firm as a sales executive, according to court transcripts.
Longoria, who worked for PGR from 2006 to 2010, was the firm’s most popular consultant, earning more than $200,000 making hundreds of consultation calls with clients, a former PGR manager testified at Fleishman’s trial.
Longoria pleaded guilty in 2011 to two counts of conspiracy, a count of securities fraud and making false statements to U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about those who supplied him with nonpublic information he gave to hedge fund managers during consulting sessions.
Longoria’s lawyer said that his client shouldn’t get a longer term because of the false statements, saying he later “cured the problem, truthfully answering all of the government’s questions in subsequent proffers and withholding nothing.”
Longoria also admitted passing tips about his previous employer, Western Digital Corp., a hard-drive maker based in Irvine, California, when he worked for the company in 2006.
PGR filed for bankruptcy last year, in the wake of a U.S. insider-trading investigation of expert networking firms that hired company insiders to corruptly pass nonpublic information to hedge fund managers for a fee.
Agents with the FBI in New York made wiretapped recordings of consultations that Longoria and other technology company employees had with hedge fund clients. During Fleishman’s trial, jurors heard several recordings of Longoria’s calls with clients. He testified that he made as many as 600 calls with clients, averaging about 200 a year.
The case is U.S. v. Longoria, 11-cr-00032, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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