Humility, or pretensions to it, may have changed Zvi Goffer's life. But it hasn't won him a shorter sentence for insider-trading.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan yesterday sentenced the former Galleon Group trader to 10 years in prison—the low end of the non-binding sentencing guidelines, but no doubt longer than the sentence Goffer and his lawyer hoped for when pleading for leniency last month with claims that Goffer's "arrogant swagger of 2007 has been replaced with an honest humility in 2011."
Goffer's sentence in the longest imposed so far in the Galleon insider-trading case—although Galleon founder Raj Rajaratnam has yet to learn his fate. Goffer was convicted in June of serving as the leader of one of two interlocking insider-trading rings in the case. Prosecutors allege that he made more than $10 million trading on confidential information.
"I view this as a tragic day," Sullivan said as he imposed the longest sentence for insider-trading in Manhattan federal court in at least eight years. "Anything less than that would send the wrong message."
"You clearly understood the consequences of what you were doing," the judge added.
Other sentences in the case have ranged from probation to five-and-a-half years.
Before Sullivan announced his sentence, Goffer offered an emotional apology and admitted that he was "terrified."
The hearing was not without its drama: Sullivan threatened to have a woman who was consoling Goffer's wife arrested after she shouted an expletive.
"This is a courtroom," a standing Sullivan said. "This is not a street corner."
Separately, in the same courthouse, Winifred Jiau, the former expert-network consultant convicted on insider-trading in another case, was sentenced to four years in prison.