Chiesi To Plead Guilty In Galleon Case

Jan 19 2011 | 10:30am ET

Danielle Chiesi, the former hedge fund executive and co-defendant of Galleon Group Raj Rajaratnam, is expected to plead guilty to insider-trading charges this afternoon.

Chiesi, who worked at New Castle Partners, will appear before U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell to enter her new plea at 1 p.m. in New York. It is unclear whether she has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case against Rajaratnam or any of the other defendants; such a deal may be revealed at today's hearing. But Reuters reports that Chiesi will not testify against Rajaratnam.

If she does plead guilty, Chiesi will be the 16th defendant to do so. In total, 24 people have been charged in what has been called the biggest insider-trading case in U.S. history. Chiesi herself is alleged to have made more than $4 million in illegal profits.

Among those who have already pleaded guilty are Chiesi's former boss, Mark Kurland, and former IBM executive Robert Moffat, with whom she was having an affair.

It is also unclear how much jail time Chiesi, a former beauty queen, will face. She is charged with more than a dozen counts of conspiracy and fraud which carry a total of more than 100 possible years in prison, but one year ago she vowed, "there is not even a chance we will do one day in jail."

But Chiesi and Rajaratnam lost their bid to keep tens of thousands of potentially damning wiretaps out of their trial. Last month, Holwell split their trials; Rajaratnam's is to begin on Feb. 28 and Chiesi's was to follow on April 25.

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