A New PGR Guilty Plea

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In a sign that prosecutors are not done with malfeasance at the former expert network Primary Global Research, a former expert affiliated with the firm pleaded guilty to sharing inside information on Monday.

Alnoor Ebrahim, a former director of channel marketing and sales operations for AT&T Mobility’s wireless group, pleaded guilty to providing inside information about sales of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Research in Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry products between 2008 and 2010.

Ebrahim was secretly recorded by Karl Motey, a former sell side technology analyst who ran his own independent research boutique, Coda Group Inc.  Motey signed up as a PGR client at the request of the Government, and made over 60 calls seeking incriminating evidence. Motey testified at the trial of James Fleishman, a former PGR salesperson, after pleading guilty to criminal charges in December 2010.

On a recorded call from September 2009, Ebrahim appears to confirm that AT&T is on pace to sell 2.2 million iPhones in its fourth quarter. The tape was played at Fleishman’s trial.  Ebrahim received about $180,000 for sharing information during that period.

As part of a plea agreement with the government, Ebrahim faces a year and a half to two years in prison. Sentencing is set for Oct. 25.

Since 2009, 63 of 69 people charged have pleaded guilty or been convicted of criminal charges in the probe.  Of these, 24 cases have involved independent research firms.  16 cases involve people affiliated with Primary Global Research, 3 with Broadband Research LLC, a technology boutique, 2 with Coda Group and 3 others with connections to expert networks.  For details go to http://www.integrity-research.com/cms/whos-who-in-the-expert-network-investigations/.

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