Make it an even dozen for the Galleon Group insider-trading case prosecutors. David Plate, a former trader at Schottenfeld Group and hedge fund Incremental Capital and one of 21 people accused in the largest insider-trading scandal in U.S. history, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy last week.
Plate is the 12th person to plead guilty, out of the 21 charged in the case. He was arrested on Nov. 5, one month after the first wave of arrests in the case that netted Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, who has pleaded not guilty. Plate admitted to buying 50,000 shares of Axcan Pharma after receiving a tip from other players in one of two allegedly interlocking insider-trading circles, this one allegedly led by former Galleon employee Zvi Goffer.
Plate told U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan that he received tips about 3Com Corp. from Goffer, and that Goffer asked him to hold onto his 3Com research file to help him conceal his activities.
Plate is one of eight men accused of being part of the Goffer ring. He is also the only one of the group indicted in February to plead guilty, after initially entering a not-guilty plea with the other six. Brian Santarlas, a former lawyer at Ropes & Gray—the law firm Plate said he got the tip he traded on from—has also pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.
Plate faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced.