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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Ex-Microsoft manager gets 2 years for insider trading

AP  Seattle , August 09, 2014
First Published: 10:04 IST(9/8/2014) | Last Updated: 10:07 IST(9/8/2014)

A former senior Microsoft manager who pleaded guilty to feeding inside information to a stock trader was sentenced on Friday to two years in prison for insider trading.

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The US attorney's office says the two men made $415,000 from three trades.

Brian Jorgenson, 32, was a senior manager in Microsoft Corp's Treasury Group when he provided the information to his friend Sean Stokke, according to documents filed in a US district court. They were accused of trading on three corporate developments: two quarterly earnings reports and Microsoft's 2012 investment in Barnes & Noble Inc.

"I cheated," Jorgenson told the court on Friday. "I tried to take a shortcut for my own financial gain... I persuaded myself it was a gray area, when it clearly was black and white."

Jorgenson's codefendant, Stokke, was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison.

The pair accumulated Barnes & Noble stock options in advance of Microsoft's announcement that it was investing in the company's digital book business, the FBI said. The announcement caused Barnes & Noble's stock to jump by nearly half, and the pair made $184,000.

They are also accused of trading on Microsoft's failure to meet earnings expectations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and Microsoft's increased first-quarter profit in fiscal 2014.

Jorgenson, a married father of four, joined Microsoft in January 2011.

When Jorgenson was charged last December, Microsoft said in a written statement that the company has no tolerance for insider trading. "We helped the government with its investigation and terminated the employee," the statement said.


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