Galleon Insider Trading Scandal Widens with New Arrests

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Eight more people have been arrested in the Galleon insider-trading scandal, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Federal and state authorities plan to announce charges against 14 new defendants, including the eight arrested, the sources said. Authorities scheduled a news conference at midday.

The new arrests include an attorney with the law firm Ropes & Gray and former employees of Incremental Capital hedge fund, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Former employees of trading firm Schottenfeld Group are among those that will be charged, a Schottenfeld official said.

The new arrests come nearly three weeks after Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of hedge fund firm Galleon Group, and five others were charged in the case.

Galleon, a prominent New York-based firm that once managed $7 billion and specialized in technology and healthcare companies, has since shut down.

The scandal sent shockwaves through the financial world and unnerved the $1.4 trillion hedge fund industry at a time when performance was improving and investors were committing new money.

One criminal complaint accused Rajaratnam, 52, considered the richest Sri Lankan in the world, of conspiring with Intel Capital treasury department managing director Rajiv Goel and Anil Kumar, a director of McKinsey & Co. The alleged offenses took place over three years starting in January 2006.

A second complaint accused three other people — New Castle portfolio manager Danielle Chiesi, New Castle general partner Mark Kurland and Robert Moffat, a senior vice president in the IBM technology group — of insider trading and earning millions of dollars in illegal profits.

(Writing by Steve Eder; Reporting by Matthew Goldstein and Anupreeta Das in New York and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; editing by John Wallace)