Flextronics Executive Pleads Guilty to Leaking Apple Secrets to Research Firm

The New York Times reports that former Flextronics executive Walter Shimoon has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of security fraud over his role in leaking insider information on Apple's iPhone and iPad plans to research firm Primary Global Research.

flextronics wordmark
Flextronics manufactured chargers for the iPhone, giving Shimoon access to nonpublic information on Apple's internal sales forecasts for the device, which he then shared with Primary Global Research in his role as a "consultant" for the firm.

In addition to sales figures, prosecutors said Mr. Shimoon also tipped a cooperating witness to Apple's plans to develop a new iPhone. But later in the call, according to a transcript from prosecutors, Mr. Shimoon leaked word of an even more secret product in development, the iPad, which at the time was referred to as K48.

"So, you can get, at Apple you can get fired for saying K48...outside of a, you know, outside of a meeting that doesn't have K48 people in it," he told a cooperating witness, according to taped calls. "That's how crazy they are about it."

Primary Global Research has been the target of a federal investigation into "expert networks" that solicit employees offering insider information and provide that nonpublic information to Wall Street money managers to facilitate insider trading. A number of arrests have been made over the firm's collection of insider information on Apple, Dell, AMD, and other tech companies.

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Top Rated Comments

silentnite Avatar
169 months ago
But of course there are leaks of secret information. How else would Stock traders & The big bosses become so rich in Wall Street, they can't be that smart. This type of thing happens every single day.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Truffy Avatar
169 months ago
All this talk of K48 makes me want to buy an iPad.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tiger8 Avatar
169 months ago
waiting for the usual haters to moan:
"Apple is ruthless and Evil!"
"Steve worships money!"
"I don't see what's the big deal in leaking this!"
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
169 months ago
The k48 thing I remember being reported here. Still, I'm glad it's getting cleaned up. I like rumors or I wouldn't be here but I dislike insider trading much more. In the end that hurts all of us.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popeye206 Avatar
169 months ago
Although I love getting hints on what might be coming, I must say, I love the excitement of when a new product that we didn't expect is announced. Like when the iPhone was introduced. Or when they introduced the Developers program for the iPhone. Although we knew something was in the works, hearing the actual deal was amazing and mind blowing.

I hope Apple can always keep an element of surprise for us. I think it's part of their Mojo that makes them fun to watch.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sackvillenb Avatar
169 months ago
No leaks to Macrumors though? :eek:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)