The president of an Oregon investment research firm has been arrested on conspiracy and securities fraud charges in a continuing crackdown by federal authorities on networking firms accused of passing along secrets about public companies as if it were legitimate research.
John Kinnucan of Portland, Ore., was awaiting an initial court appearance Friday in Oregon. The president of Broadband Research LLC was arrested late Thursday at his residence.
He is accused of obtaining secrets about publicly traded companies and selling the information to Broadband's clients, including hedge funds and money managers.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Kinnucan used financial incentives, fancy meals and other inducements to get public company insiders to reveal secrets.
"He allegedly made a business model out of passing off those secrets to his hedge fund clients as legitimate research," Bharara said.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk criticized Kinnucan, saying: "That kind of information beats research every time. The only problem is it isn't legal."
Kinnucan is accused of obtaining inside information about earnings reports from companies such as F5 Networks, Sandisk and Flextronics International between 2008 and 2010 and relaying the numbers to his clients.
It was not immediately clear who will represent Kinnucan in court.
The Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil charges against Kinnucan, as well.