LightSquared backer Philip Falcone is facing securities fraud charges from the SEC. The government alleges the Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund manager gave preferential treatment to large investors at the expense of others, used cash from the fund to pay his personal taxes and manipulated the market through illegal practices. “Today’s charges read like the final exam in a graduate school course in how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully,” said Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, in a statement. LightSquared, whose LTE plans crashed earlier this year, is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.
Virgin Mobile USA has started selling the iPhone, making it the second operator in the mainland United States to offer the smartphone on a prepaid basis after Cricket Communications. The Sprint prepaid brand is selling the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4S for $650, with plans starting at $35.
Qualcomm is restructuring itself to protect its patent portfolio from legal action in divisions outside its licensing business. The new structure includes the primary parent company, most of the patent portfolio and a new subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc (QTI), which will operate its research and development activities, and product and services business, including its semiconductor unit. “The company expects that QTI and its subsidiaries’ product and services businesses will increase their work with open source software in the future and this restructuring will, among other things, help ensure that QTI and its subsidiaries’ activities do not result in the licensing of any of Qualcomm Incorporated’s patents, including its 3G and 4G patents,” Qualcomm said in a statement.
Research In Motion CIO Robin Bienfait has been named as a keynote speaker at CTIA’s fall conference in San Diego. The trade group also announced that Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith will also deliver an address at the event. A number of executive keynote speakers were previously announced, including representatives from Symantec and SAP.