Prosecution, Defense Rest In Goffer Trial

Jun 1 2011 | 4:46am ET

Both the prosecution and the defense in the second Galleon Group insider-trading trial rested yesterday, bringing the two-week long trial to its denouement.

Closing arguments in the case will begin today. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan, presiding over the trial, said that he expects to hand the case to the jury—which saw a member dismissed yesterday to attend to an ailing family member—as soon as tomorrow.

Lawyers for the accused—Zvi Goffer, Emanuel Goffer and Michael Kimelman—apparently decided that the first Galleon trial, which saw Galleon founder Raj Rajaratnam convicted of all charges, was not a cautionary tale in favor of calling their clients to the stand. Like Rajaratnam, none testified in his own defense.

Indeed, Goffer, a former Galleon trader and the alleged ringleader of one of two interlocking insider-trading rings in the case, didn't present any defense at all. And while the prosecution's case took up the better part of two weeks, featuring four cooperating witnesses and dozens of taped conversations involving the three men, all three defenses took a total of five hours.

Emanuel Goffer's lawyer turned to the tapes in his client's defense, playing several in an effort to show that his client did not trade illegally. In one, he and his brother are heard discussing the hire of a trader for Zvi Goffer's Incremental Capital hedge fund.

"He's gonna be consulting with other, with companies like small-cap," Emanuel said. "I think the rule that would be is, no one just allowed to trade the stocks that he's consulting for."

"Or you could, you could trade the stocks, but not ahead of the announcement," his brother replied.

Michael Sommer, the lawyer for Kimelman, also formerly of Incremental, sought to distance his client from the Goffers and the four other men originally charged in the case, all of whom have pleaded guilty. Sommer recalled a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Jan Trigg, to emphasize that his client was the only one of the seven people indicted in the case not to use a prepaid cellular phone, which the government alleges Goffer handed out to members of his insider-trading ring.

Trigg also testified that the FBI never recorded a conversation between Goffer and Kimelman that showed them sharing confidential information, and that in at least one case, his trading in a company was at odds with other alleged members of the ring.


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