The former IBM executive who pleaded guilty to hedge fund insider trading, could spend six months in jail based on recommendations from US prosecutors.
Robert Moffat headed up IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, which accounted for almost a fifth of IBM’s overall turnover. He had been with the firm for over 30 years, but was "placed on leave" last year. He was once tipped as a candidate to take over from incumbent chief executive Sam Palmisano.
According to Reuters, Moffat is scheduled to be sentenced on 13 September in Manhatten Federal Court for his role in what has been described as one of the biggest ever insider trading scandals in the US.
He stands accused of passing on information in August 2008 to New Castle Funds trader Danielle Chiesi about a number of top IT players, including Big Blue, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems. He was also alleged to have been caught on tape discussing AMD’s plans to spin off its manufacturing operations.
Reuters reported that the US government’s sentencing memorandum said: “As far as the government has determined, his motive was to help a woman with whom he was having an intimate, personal relationship.”
Five other financial, consulting and technology executives have been involved in the investigation, with the centrepiece being Raj Rajaratnam, founder of investment firm The Galleon Group.
Chiesi and Rajaratnam have both pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges regarding allegations of insider trading. They are scheduled to go on trial in January.
Chiesi’s boss at the New Castle hedge fund, Mark Kurland, was sentenced in May to 27 months behind bars after pleading guilty to criminal charges in the case.
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