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Ex-Intel exec pleads guilty to insider trading

Admits outing Intel earnings, WiMAX plans

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Former Intel executive Rajiv Goel has pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy and securities fraud in connection with the Galleon insider trading case. Goel is the tenth person to plead guilty in the case, which the FBI and the US attorney's office in Manhattan call the largest hedge fund inside trading case in US history.

On Monday, the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York announced that Goel pleaded guilty to passing insider information to Raj Rajaratnam, founder and managing director of Galleon Group, a $7bn New York hedge fund. In October, Rajaratnam, Goel, and three others were arrested and charged with insider trading involving Galleon. Those charged also included Robert Moffat, the former senior vice president and general manager of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group.

In total, 22 people have been charged in the case.

Rajaratnam, 52, was ranked number 559 on Forbes magazine’s most recent list of the world’s wealthiest people, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. Goel was the director of strategic investments in Intel’s treasury department. He took a leave of absence from Intel following his arrest and later left the company.

According to the US attorney and FBI wiretaps, Goel provided Rajaratnam with inside information on Intel's quarterly earnings in April 2007. In 2008, the US attorney says, he also provided inside information on the joint venture between WiMAX outfit Clearwire and Sprint Nextel, which was eventually backed by a $1bn investment from Intel. Goel and Rajaratnam met in the 1980s while attending the same business school.

“I cannot express how sorry I am for my conduct,” Goel, 51, said in court on Monday, according to The New York Times. “I intend to do the right thing.”

Rajaratnam has pleaded not guilty and is currently out on bail. Robert Moffat, who left IBM in the wake of his arrest, has also denied charges against him in the case. ®

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