Goffer Tipster Gets Six Months

Dec 1 2011 | 12:57pm ET

A former lawyer who pleaded guilty to passing confidential information about clients to a hedge fund manager was sentenced to six months in prison yesterday.

Brien Santarlas testified at the trial of former Galleon Group traded Zvi Goffer that he and another lawyer at Ropes & Gray sent tips about pending mergers to Goffer via another man, Jason Goldfarb. Goffer, the head of one of two interlocking insider-trading rings in the Galleon scandal, was convicted earlier this year of insider-trading.

While U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan called Santarlas' cooperation with prosecutors "very, very important," he rejected his lawyer's request for house arrest, saying, "it's important that those legal professionals understand they breach those duties at their peril. You don't get a pass."

"I'll never forgive myself," Santarlas said. "I violated my oath as an attorney."

Santarlas was also order to forfeit $32,500.

Santarlas, whose cooperation was described as "critical to the way this case played out" by prosecutor Andrew Fish, did get the lightest sentence of the three men involved in funneling information to Goffer. His fellow lawyer, Arthur Cutillo, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years, and Goldfarb received three.

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