Lawyers Battle Over Wiretaps In Second Galleon Trial

May 10 2011 | 1:32pm ET

As the jury in the Raj Rajaratnam case continues to mull the Galleon Group founder's fate at the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, the final preliminaries of the second Galleon-linked insider-trading trial played out in a different courtroom in the same building.

Zvi Goffer, a former Galleon employee and regular attendee of Rajaratnam's trial, and two other former employees of his hedge fund, Incremental Capital, are to stand trial starting Monday. Yesterday, in something of a re-run of the pretrial battles in the Raj Rajaratnam trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys sparred over wiretaps.

Morris Foderman, representing defendant Michael Kimelman, told U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan that the government should be forced to play all 100 wiretaps in the case in their entirety. Prosecutor Andrew Fish said he hoped to use only about 60 tapes.

"I think the defense would really love us to play 30 minutes of inane chatter," he said. "The defendants are trying to bury the relevant parts and have the jury fall asleep the rest of the time."

Sullivan earlier ruled that the wiretaps were admissible.

Prosecutors also said that Brien Santarlas, one of the seven men originally charged in the Goffer case, would testify. Santarlas is a former lawyer at Ropes & Gray, the law firm that allegedly supplied many of the tips in the case.

In addition to Santarlas, four other former Goffer co-defendants have pleaded guilty, including lawyers Jason Goldfarb, who pleaded guilty last month, and Arthur Cutillo, like Santarlas formerly of Ropes & Gray, who pleaded guilty in January. All told, 21 of the 26 people charged in the Galleon cases have pleaded guilty, and one is a fugitive.

Prosecutors say that Goffer ran one of two interlocking insider-trading rings—the other was allegedly headed by Rajaratnam. According to the government, Goffer was called "Octopussy" because of his many connections and sources of information.

Goffer, Kimelman and Emanuel Goffer, Zvi Goffer's brother, each face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


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