Prosecutors may net two guilty pleas in the Justice Department's massive insider-trading investigation today.
Don Ching Trung Chu, the first of 12 people arrested in the ongoing probe, will waive his right to be indicted by a grand jury at a hearing today, his lawyer said yesterday. While Chu will actually plead not guilty at the hearing, waiving indictment is usually a first step towards a plea agreement.
"I don't have a resolution to this case yet," Chu's lawyer, James DeVita, told Bloomberg News. "I can tell you that he's not requiring the government to go to a grand jury and obtain an indictment against him, but we have yet to resolve this case and it won't be today."
DeVita has apparently been working on a deal for some time; Chu's case has been adjourned a number of times since his November arrest "in the interests of justice." He is free on bail.
Chu was a consultant at "expert network" firm Primary Global Research.
According to prosecutors, Chu passed confidential tips about several companies to former SAC Capital Advisors trader Richard Choo-Beng Lee, who had pleaded guilty in the case. Lee and Ali Far, a former Galleon Group analyst, allegedly used insider information at their hedge fund, Spehrix Capital.
If Chu does plead guilty, he'll be the sixth to do so, after today's guilty plea by former SAC manager Donald Longueuil. Two others, hedge fund manager Samir Barai and former Primary Global consultant Mark Longoria, are known to be in talks with prosecutors, as well.