Intel Corp's former India-born managing director Rajiv Goel deserves leniency as he provided "substantial assistance" as a key government witness in Raj Rajaratnam's insider trading trial that helped convict the hedge fund founder, Manhattan Attorney Preet Bharara has said.
Goel, 54, was arrested with Rajaratnam in October 2009 and had pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy and securities fraud. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on September 12 by US District Judge Barbara Jones.
Recommending a lenient sentence for Goel, Bharara said in a letter to Jones that Goel, "a highly significant witness ... substantially helped the government secure a conviction in one of the most significant and high-profile insider trading trials in history."
Mumbai-born Goel had met Rajaratnam in 1983 at the Wharton Business School where he was studying business administration and the two grew close over the years.
Goel had served as managing director in Intel's treasury department and had provided confidential information to Rajaratnam about the company, including its earnings and a billion dollar transaction in 2008.
Rajaratnam made over two million dollars in illegal profits based on the tips.
Goel had told prosecutors he repeatedly sought financial assistance from Rajaratnam, who loaned him USD 100,000 to buy a home in 2005 and another USD 500,000 the next year for his ailing father.
The prosecutors said despite Goel's "long-standing, close friendship" with Rajaratnam and his family, he never hesitated to provide complete information to the government about his illegal tips to Rajaratnam.