Apparently pissing off BlackBerry's top brass isn't beneficial these days. James Dunham, a former wireless retail executive with Wireless Zone was sentenced to five months in prison earlier today for his involvement in selling confidential industry information to an analyst at Boston-based financial firm Detwiler Fenton, whose subsequent 2013 report on sales of BlackBerry Ltd’s newest smartphone sent the company’s stock price downward.
Dunham was the former chief operating officer of Wireless Zone, which operates more than 400 franchise Verizon Wireless outlets.
Mr Dunham will also serve five months of home confinement after his prison term, and will be required to pay $76,000 in light of his June guilty plea to a wire fraud charge.
According to court papers, Dunham entered a secret consulting relationship with an analyst at Detwiler Fenton in 2010 to provide exclusive wireless industry information at a cost of $2,000 per month.
Prosecutors said the information gave the analyst "real time" insight into what happened at the franchiser's stores and was used for research reports sent to investors.
Prosecutors said after Dunham told the analyst, Jeff Johnston, that returns of the BlackBerry Z10 smarphone exceeded sales at some of the franchiser's stores, Detwiler Fenton issued a report based on that information.
BlackBerry's stock price subsequently fell 7 percent. The company quickly disputed Detwiler Fenton's report as "false and misleading," and urged U.S. and Canadian regulators to investigate.