Securities Law

Research Firm Chief Who Nixed FBI Wire, Proclaimed Innocence in Client Email Expected to Take a Plea

The head of an independent research firm who publicly proclaimed his innocence and said he refused to wear a wire when approached in 2010 by federal agents pursuing a major insider-trading probe is now expected to take a plea.

John Kinnucan, 55, is likely to appear in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday to plead guilty to securities fraud, according to the DealBook page of the New York Times and Reuters.

The articles rely on information from unidentified sources.

Kinnucan, of Portland, Ore., headed Broadband Research LLC when he made headlines by sending an email to current and former clients that alerted them to his situation and proclaimed his innocence. Insisting that he had done nothing wrong and was simply following common industry practices, he soon became known as a vociferous government critic.

He is accused of giving company insiders hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts for information between 2008 and 2010, such as iPhone sales trends, and then funneling the information to hedge fund traders. Clients paid him $30,000 a quarter for his research, according to prosecutors.

The articles about the expected plea don’t include any comment from Kinnucan, his counsel or prosecutors.

Earlier coverage: “Visited By FBI in Big Insider-Trading Probe, Researcher Explains ‘Why I Chose Not to Wear a Wire’” “Research Analyst Who Publicly Refused to Wear FBI Wire Is Arrested in Insider Trading Case” “Phone Messages for Gov’t Lawyers Create New Trouble for Indicted Researcher Who Refused to Wear Wire”

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