Intel former exec 'passed on insider information' to Galleon hedge fund

Tensions rise in huge insider trading case

A former Intel executive has admitted passing on company information in the ongoing Wall Street insider-dealing trial involving technology companies.

Rajiv Goel, who is acting as a witness for the prosecution and has already pled guilty to securities fraud, a technology investment adviser within Intel's finance office.

He claims he passed on the sensitive Intel corporate information to his 'friend' Raj Rajaratnam, the former billionaire hedge-fund manager who is accused of making over $45 million (£28 million) by illegally trading on insider information.

Goel said he was paid hundreds of millions of dollars by Rajaratnam. "I had never seen so much money in my life," he told the court.

Rajaratnam was arrested in October 2009, and has been freed on bail of $100 million. If found guilty, he faces over 20 years in jail. He denies the charges and has said he only traded on well-researched, legitimate information.

Prosecutors have described the court action as the "largest hedge fund insider trading case in history".

Goel is said to have told Rajaratnam about an Intel business deal days before the details became public knowledge, as well as providing advance financial information. He told the Manhattan court, "I was afraid I was doing something where, if it turns out to be wrong, it will have a bearing on the friendship."

So far, over 20 have been charged in the case, including a senior executive from IBM. Some of those being investigated have also been accused of trading on insider information from chip maker AMD and Sun Microsystems.

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