A former AT&T employee admitted on Monday to sharing company secrets such as sales numbers for Apple Inc's iPhone to traders who illegally bought shares on the information.

Alnoor Ebrahim, 57, a U.S. citizen born in Tanzania, is the latest person to plead guilty in the U.S. government's crackdown on insider trading, which claimed its biggest target to date on Friday – former Goldman Sachs Group Inc board member Rajat Gupta.

Ebrahim was part of a so-called expert-network ring where some employees of specialized firms such as Primary Global Research (PGR) helped funnel corporate secrets from consultants at companies to hedge funds.

Ex-employees need to be watched sometimes

Ex-employees need to be watched sometimes

“I provided insider information concerning AT&T's sales of Apple's iPhone and RIM's (Research In Motion Ltd) Blackberry products, as well as other handset set devices sold through AT&T distribution channels,” Ebrahim told U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan.

Ebrahim pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud. Manhattan federal prosecutors, in a plea agreement with the defense, recommended that Ebrahim be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison.

“We took this matter very seriously and cooperated fully with the authorities,” said AT&T spokesman Marty Richtman. “The conduct alleged was clearly against our code of business conduct, and Mr. Ebrahim is no longer an AT&T employee.”

An attorney for former Silicon Valley sales manager James Fleishman, who is imprisoned on conspiracy charges, identified Ebrahim as a PGR consultant in court documents last year.


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