Ex-Rajaratnam Friend Gets Probation

Sep 25 2012 | 12:37pm ET

The value of cooperating with prosecutors was demonstrated again yesterday, as a former friend of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam avoided prison for his crimes.

Former Intel Corp. employee Rajiv Goel was sentenced to two years' probation, the same sentence handed down to the two other key cooperators who helped send Rajaratnam to prison for 11 years. Prosecutors had pushed for a lenient punishment, lauding Goel's "extraordinary" cooperation.

"You showed good sense in deciding to cooperate," U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones said. "You have already been punished in the sense of shame you feel for your family and your having lost your career."

"I did think you showed your character in the extent of your cooperation," Jones continued. "I think you did go beyond and for that you deserve a departure of probation."

Goel, who had faced up to 25 years in prison, met Rajaratnam at business school in the 1980s, and became a close friend and business partners. The two families were close enough to vacation together.

Goel was earlier ordered to pay a $254,000 fine by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jones ordered him to pay a further $10,000 fine and to forfeit $266,649.

"I am deeply ashamed for the mistakes that I have made," Goel said. "I apologize to all that have been hurt by my actions, and in particular my wife and children who have been devastated by the trauma and grief that my actions have caused them."

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