Ex-Tech Consultant Spares None in Bid to Erase Conviction

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Written By admin at Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

U.S. Department of Justice
Winifred Jiau, former consultant with Primary Global Research

Winifred Jiau, a former technology consultant, asked a federal court Tuesday to set aside her insider-trading conviction, finding fault with nearly everyone associated with her case, including her court-appointed counsel, the  prosecutors and the judge.

Prosecutors alleged that Ms. Jiau, a former consultant with California “expert-network” firm Primary Global Research, passed along confidential corporate information to hedge-fund managers, who were clients of the firm. She was convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud last year and sentenced to four years in prison.

In part, Ms. Jiau, who is acting as her own lawyer, claims her court-appointed counsel had an undisclosed conflict of interest because she represented a hedge fund in a separate insider-trading investigation that revolved around Raj Rajaratnam and his hedge fund, Galleon Group.

She also claims the prosecutors in her case have “hurried to Wall Street law firms for megabucks.” (One prosecutor left for law firm Gibson Dunn; the other is working for a family business.)

“Those who labored under numerous conflicts of interest advanced their careers to the next stop that turned into a nightmare for Jiau,” she said in court papers filed Tuesday.

She claims prosecutors had “actual knowledge” of false testimony by some of the government’s cooperating witnesses and that the court improperly limited her ability to challenge the credibility of their testimony.

Ms. Jiau also claims her lawyer disobeyed her instructions that she seek to negotiate a “favorable plea agreement” in her case and dropped her request for bail against Ms. Jiau’s wishes. Ms. Jiau remained in custody before trial amid questions whether she convinced a former boyfriend to conceal assets, which prosecutors claimed she could have used to flee the country.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment Tuesday.

Ms. Jiau was the first defendant to go to trial in the government’s probe into expert-network firms, which link industry experts with investors for a fee. Prosecutors had sought as much as 10 years in prison in her case.

A spokeswoman for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which represented Ms. Jiau, called her allegations “categorically false.”

“Her attorneys carefully, comprehensively and repeatedly reviewed with her the evidence against her, the defenses available to her, and the likely sentence she would face if convicted,” the spokeswoman said. “The decision to proceed to trial was Ms. Jiau’s. The district court and the responsible [assistant U.S. attorneys] have stated publicly that Ms. Jiau received ‘extraordinary’ representation in this case — the ‘Cadillac’ of defenses.”

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