back to article iPhone 4, iPad mole faces 30 years' federal porridge

A former Flextronics exec is facing up to 30 years in prison for leaking details of Apple's iPhone 4 development as part of an insider trading scam. Walter Shimoon, 39, of San Diego, California, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges. He was arrested in December. Shimoon is accused of using his position at …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Title says it all really. You'd get less for gratuitously murdering someone.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      They take insider trading seriously

      I mean there is money involved here

    2. Matt_payne666

      i was thinking exactly the same...

      what hes done is wrong, but noone is hurt, the oposite infact - leaked specs help create decent competition...

      and 30 years?! thats just bonkers - monster fine and a short spell in clink would be more suited.

    3. gotes

      Up to 30 years

      "Up to" 30 years... The penalty for murder can be "up to" the rest of your life.

    4. Bumpy Cat


      Do what you like to people, but don't mess with the money.

    5. Steve Todd

      That's UPTO 30 years

      For a crime that probably cost members of the public (people with money in pension funds etc) millions of dollars. Chances are he won't get the full whack, so worst case and with good behaviour he'll be out in 15 years. Where do murderers get sentenced to that little?

      1. dssf

        Not only UPTO, but

        USPTO 30 years..., and that could be experienced in 3D....

      2. Anonymous Coward


        Life = 16 years, 8 with good behaviour. That's for the equivalent of Murder 1.

    6. Annihilator


      You'll be confusing the UK liberal justice system compared to the US draconian system. There's presumably a happy medium that we could aim for, but "gratuitously murdering someone" or "first degree murder" is either death or life imprisonment depending on the state - and life generally means life.

      For some further inane acts of US justice, check out the "3 strikes" rule, where a 3rd offence will get you a life sentence, regardless of severity.

      1. Ted Treen
        Big Brother


        The UK system ain't that liberal.

        Muggers let off whilst pensioners who don't pay council tax are immediately whipped inside?

        Our benevolent liberal overlords don't really get too fazed if we plebs scrap amongst ourselves:- but if anything happens which challenges the authority of the Almighty State (i.e. their authority & position) then heaven help the perpetrator.

        And if your perceived to be middle class (how the lefties hate the middle class), then using a water pistol to defend your home & family against armed burglars will as like as not see you incarcerated. The middle class could become a threat to the ruling elite, so they MUST be hammered into submission at every opportunity.

      2. Sam Liddicott

        three strikes

        The three strikes law is the kind of idiocy you get when legislators can't help thinking in terms of baseball clichés.

        They start to confuse justice, with a snappy entertaining game.

    7. kissingthecarpet
      Big Brother

      They love macho sentencing in the US

      They seem to hand out "life with no parole" like parking tickets. Or try "3 shoplifting convictions & you're out" - the brutality of American society is shocking. Apparently the authorities regard rape as an acceptable, inevitable consequence of imprisonment as well. Nice.

      1. Trevor 7

        Macho sentencing in the US

        Still trying to figure out how to convince people that land of opportunity means "while following the laws", not "help yourselves to whatever you want".

        What do you do with lazy but risk taking people that grow up desiring the wonders of wealth, without the motivation to actually work for it?

  2. Jason Rivers
    Thumb Down

    murderers get less

    nuff said.

  3. CockKnocker

    30 Years!!?

    For defauding apple? Christ child murderers get less. Don't F*** with apple!

    1. Steve Todd

      Wrong crime

      That's 30 years for giving investors non-public information that they used to their advantage in the share markets. Anyone who works in banking is told repeatedly and at length that they'll find themselves in serious do do if they do that, and the investors who paid him are in real trouble also.

      If all he had done is leak some specs to the world the punishment would have been trivial in comparison.

  4. Frederic Bloggs

    IP > Murder?

    Has it really come to this? "Intellectual Property" is now worth more than "real" property, or crimes of violence, rape or murder?

    Is this going to come to Britain any time soon?

    1. Ted Treen
      Big Brother


      Look around you - it came to Britain some time ago...

    2. Naughtyhorse

      been here for decades m8

      look at the heaviest sentences handed down.

      train robbers, brinks mat

      yet nonces get out after 5 or so years regularly.

      hindley & brady.. .that would be the exception that proves the rule then


  5. Craig 12

    Thank god

    The world is a much safer place with this monster behind bars.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Who is the more guilty?

    Quote from Primary Global Research website:

    "Seasoned, in-house industry analysts manage and match experts with information requests and publish thematic and company-specific research in eight industry sectors."

    And from their Compliance statement:

    "MNPI stands for material non-public information. According to U.S. securities laws, it is illegal to profit from MNPI, which is defined as information not available to the general public and likely to influence an investment decision"

    How then does an organisation profit from passing only publicly available material information to their clients?

    Something smells fishy, as a quick Google search for "Insider Trading Primary Global Research" suggests.

    1. dssf

      When can wronged entrepreneurs benefit from

      MNPI? Give an idea to a bank in order to get a loan, and you might find the bankers delaying returning your business plan back to you.

      Happened to me, with TWO banks, and BOTH claiming they couldn't find my plan, which I marked as confidential, not to be shared with ANYone outside the bank officer/s responsible for approving or denying the loan application, etc. One was out of his office and it took his secretary maybe 10 minutes to find it as I said I wasn't leaving until i got it back, since the reasonable time period to deny or approve had passed, and he hadn't offered me papers that would have triggered their actually HAVING to have a copy.

      Similarly, at yet a second bank in the same slow-poke city, the banker lied blatantly when telling me his manager took it out of town with him. I had inadvertently put my plan into a custom folder, and while he thought nothing of it, i readily saw it sticking out like a bleeding thumb in the stack on his desk. I pointed right at it, and he then looked as if caught red-handed.

      Got both back. +2 for me, 0 for them.... If they'd given my plans to friends, i could have been screwed since in that town there was not much room for the competition i would have been engaged in. Similarly, in another US city, around 2001 or 2002, an East Coast banker stole business plans from an applicant via the act of sharing or giving the plan to a friend who outright implemented the EXACT business plan shortly thereafter. Some time later, the rejected applicant realized his business plan was in play and it turned out the operator of it was funded through the bank that rejected the applicant. Turned out on investigation that the operator of the business was a close friend or so of the banking officer who had direct access to the plan he stole from the applicant he rejected. Heavy punishment came for those two. Probably couldn't be heavy enough.

      People who steal IP are incredilby fracking DUMB! As with the military with seeded documents to root out or sleuth out traitors and possible defectors, corporations similarly implant custom tweaks into a document that is shared with or by necessity used by various people and companies for research or actual production. As long as those involved are fairly segregated into identifiable and distinct groups, each group can be pegged as the leak source. People who think they can share stolen information would have to wait YEARS and multiple competitive permutations of data such that it is competitively reduced to near worthlessnes if such thieves want to have minimal risk. But, "no risk, no reward" is the saying, and some are willing to stake their freedom on it.

    2. Oninoshiko

      There is lots of information

      LOTS. The problem isn't what you can learn, is sorting out what is relevant. Poll, disc-loused stats, stock price of this company, stock price of it's competitors, health of suppliers, health of supplier-relations, status of new-relevant proposed legislation, gleaning whatever can be from press-releases and interviews. This is just a short list, all of which could be relevant to the question at hand, but none is the answer the question I have: "Buy or sell?"

      PGI isn't about getting information that wasn't avalible (although sometimes that does happen too), they are about analyzing that information to produce the answer to a question.

      I had this problem the other day actually, a FC switch can return thousands of probes, more then I could ever keep up with tracking and sorting. All I care about is "what, if anything, is wrong" but I have so much information, I'm just drowning in it. So I need tools to sort, filter and correlate it. To present it in a way that I can easily understand, and that my management can understand.

  7. FunkyEric

    America, land of the free

    Or not as the case may be.

  8. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Bit of a prat then isn't he?!

    I'm sure he won't get 30 years but he must have been aware that selling secrets about one of the most hotly anticipated gadgets during that 12 month period, was not the most intelligent thing to do to make some money!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Had to be done

    Shimoon, m*tha f*cka

  10. technohead95

    30 years???

    30 years punishment is way too harsh for this. Rapists, murders and child abusers get less than 30 years. Where's the justice? I think a hefty fine with 0 prison time would have been more than sufficient in this case (at the very most, 6 months in jail).

    1. dssf

      Obviously, he isn't the

      apple in THEIR eye...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Keep the info to yourself

    And have your offshore holding company purchase some shares.

  12. maclovinz

    EVERY legal system... fucked in some way. It's not just the US one.

    Mind you, if seems most of the fucked up ones seem to follow our lead.

    Yet again another addition to the world's largest inmate population...because he's a danger to civilians......

  13. Anonymous Coward


    That this guy did what Silicon Valley VC's do every single day.

  14. Arctic fox

    Companies leak information all the time.......... an attempt to improve (amongst other things) their share-price if they are feeling under pressure - particularly if they see a hostile bid on the horizon. Given that that clearly is done for financial gain can we look forward to the sight of directors of plcs/corporations regularly getting 30 years inside? No, I thought not.

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