Man accused of Dell / Perot insider trading was Iran rescue hero

It is one of the IT industry’s best-known and most dramatic stories. When two employees of IT services giant EDS (now part of Hewlett-Packard) were imprisoned during the Iranian revolution of 1979, the company decided to take matters into its own hands and successfully staged a daring rescue operation. The episode was immortalised in a best-selling book, On The Wings Of Eagles.

Now, though, one of the story’s leading characters stands accused of making $8.6 million by trading on insider information relating to computer maker Dell’s proposed acquisition of Perot Systems, the company that EDS founder and former US presidential candidate Ross Perot set up after selling EDS to General Motors in 1984.

Reza Saleh played a critical role in the 1979 rescue operation. “The courage he showed as a young man in his early twenties in helping secure the freedom of the EDS executives held captive in Iran was nothing short of miraculous," a statement from the Perot family said.

But earlier this week Saleh, who now works for Parkcentral Capital Management LP, an investment vehicle linked to Perot Systems, was accused of civil fraud by the Securities Exchange Commission. The SEC alleges that he maintained a Perot Systems email account and had access to senior executives, while also trading on the company’s stock.

Read the full story over at the Wall Street Journal’s website.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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