Ex-microsoft manager: ‘I cheated’

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iol scitech july 23 Earns Microsoft AP Microsoft in particular was stung by revelations last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and has been at pains to prove to customers that it does not allow the US government unchallenged access to personal data on its servers.

Seattle - 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.

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

Brian Jorgenson, 32, was a senior manager in Microsoft's Treasury Group when he provided the information to his friend Sean Stokke, according to documents filed in US District Court.

They were accused of trading on three corporate developments: two quarterly earnings reports and Microsoft's 2012 investment in Barnes & Noble.

“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. - Sapa-AP

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