Shortly after the BlackBerry Z10 launched, an analyst from Detwiler Fenton & Co. in the United States wrote a note to clients stating, “in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before.” This one line rippled through Wall Street and sent BlackBerry’s stock down 7.8% in one day.
BlackBerry was quick to respond, boldly saying, “This is absolutely false. Our data shows that return rates for BlackBerry Z10 devices both in the U.S. and on a global basis are in line with or better than our expectations and are consistent with return rates for other premium smartphones in the market today.” At the time, BlackBerry requested regulators in the United States and Canada investigate the misleading claims. Today, a resolution was met.
Apparently the information that Detwiler Fenton received was from 59-year old James Dunham of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Dunham, a wireless executive, was arrested today by the FBI for selling corporate data to the firm for $2,000 a month and now faces a possibility of 20 years in prison.
The FBI’s statement did not mention the retailers name, only that Dunham “had access to confidential information regarding sales, compensation, and product launches at the retailer’s 400 locations.” Digging into Dunham’s LinkedIn profile reveals the retailer was probably the Wireless Zone, which is a reseller of Verizon Wireless.
Vincent B. Lisi of the FBI stated, “As alleged, Mr. Dunham has undermined the credibility and efficiency of capital markets in favor of lining his own pocket by profiting from the sale of confidential information. This complaint should serve as a reminder that no one is excused from obeying the laws of this country, and the FBI will continue to root out corporate fraud wherever it is found.”