April 17, 2024

Former Galleon Employee Is Next Target in Inquiry

On Monday, Mr. Goffer will appear in Federal District Court in Manhattan — this time as a defendant in his own insider trading trial.

He will be fairly familiar with the proceedings, having attended much of Mr. Rajaratnam’s trial, which concluded last week with a jury conviction on 14 counts of crimes related to insider trading.

Mr. Goffer is accused of leading an insider trading scheme that produced more than $20 million in illegal profits. His brother, Emanuel Goffer, and Michael A. Kimelman are being tried alongside him.

As in Mr. Rajaratnam’s case, phone wiretaps are expected to play a central role in the case. Federal prosecutors have told Judge Richard Sullivan that they plan to play as many as 60 audio tapes of conversations in which the defendants swap confidential information about publicly traded companies, including 3Com and Axcan Pharma.

Prosecutors accuse Mr. Goffer and his co-defendants of trading on illegal tips about pending mergers and acquisitions from three lawyers, who have already pleaded guilty to securities fraud. At least one of those lawyers, Brien Santarlas, formerly of Ropes Gray, is expected to testify for the government.

Lawyers for the Goffers did not respond to requests for comment. Michael Sommer, a lawyer for Mr. Kimelman, said his client “has pleaded not guilty because he is in fact not guilty.”

Mr. Rajaratnam is the central figure in a government investigation that has led to insider trading charges against 26 individuals. Of those charged, 22 have either pleaded guilty or been convicted. The Goffer brothers and Mr. Kimelman are three of the defendants still fighting charges. (The fourth, Deep Shah, a former analyst at Moody’s accused of leaking corporate secrets to traders, has been declared a fugitive.)

Zvi Goffer bounced around a number of firms before landing at Galleon in 2008. After nine months there, he started his own fund, Incremental Capital, with his brother and Mr. Kimelman.

Authorities say that Mr. Goffer, 34, earned the nickname “Octopussy” — a reference to a James Bond movie — among his fellow traders because his tentacles stretched deep into a vast network of tipsters.

Late last week, Judge Sullivan denied a request by Emanuel Goffer’s lawyer to delay the trial for a month. The lawyer argued that the swarm of publicity surrounding Mr. Rajaratnam’s conviction would taint the jury selection process and threaten Mr. Goffer’s right to a fair trial.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c66bb9ace56a943e8ef2bfd89d4370aa

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