New Castle’s Kurland Pleads Guilty To Insider-Trading

Jan 28 2010 | 12:19pm ET

As expected, New Castle Partners founder Mark Kurland pleaded guilty yesterday to insider-trading charges. But unlike the seven people who had already done so, Kurland is not cooperating with prosecutors in a case that has ensnared 21 individuals, including Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.

The 61-year-old Kurland pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and securities fraud.

“I knew the information was received from a source who was obligated to keep it confidential,” Kurland told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis about a tip he used to trade shares of Advanced Micro Devices. The hedge fund manager said he participated in the insider-trading circle from August 2008 until the beginning of last year.

But while Kurland has agreed to forfeit $900,000 as part of his plea, he is not cooperating with the government and did not identify the source or sources of his inside information. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 27.

Kurland is one of two people who worked at New Castle—formerly part of Bear Stearns—to be charged in the case; the other, former executive Danielle Chiesi, pleaded not guilty to insider-trading charges alongside Rajaratnam last month. Chiesi worked for Kurland at New Castle.

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