Prosecutors Seek Mercy For Former Rajaratnam Friend

Sep 10 2012 | 12:29pm ET

A former friend of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam deserves leniency for helping put the convicted insider-trader behind bars, prosecutors urged.

Rajiv Goel "substantially helped the government secure a conviction in one of the most significant and high-profile insider-trading trials in history," prosecutor Reed Brodsky wrote to U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, who will sentence Goel on Wednesday. "From the first day of Goel's cooperation through the present, Goel has been a very important, straightforward and extraordinarily helpful cooperating witness."

Goel, who former worked at Intel Corp.'s venture capital arm and who testified that he had passed tips to Rajaratnam, was one of three main cooperating witnesses at Rajaratnam's trial last year. While Goel faces up to 25 years in prison, the other two key cooperating witnesses were spared incarceration.

Goel and Rajaratnam became friends at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of business in the 1980s. They became close enough to vacation together with their families.

"Goel testified against one of his closest friends who had provided him with substantial financial assistance over many years," Brodsky wrote. "Although Goel did not express it or complain about it, he had to overcome the emotional aspect of providing assistance and trial testimony that helped demonstrate his close friend was guilty of multiple counts of securities fraud."

In his own letter, Goel's lawyer called his client "not even close to Rajaratnam's criminal league" and noted that he had already been punished with the ruining of his reputation and a $254,000 fine levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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