A former securities trader was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday after being found guilty of insider trading as part of the government's campaign against financial crimes on Wall Street.
Zvi Goffer, 34, was convicted by a Manhattan federal court jury in June on all counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit insider trading on pending mergers.
The case was part of a wide-ranging insider trading investigation focused on hedge funds and traders, a probe marked by the use of FBI wiretaps.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said Goffer forfeited any claim to leniency by choosing to go to trial rather than admitting his crimes, as many of his co-defendants in the investigation elected to do.
You gambled and you lost, Sullivan said.
The judge also repeated his call on Wall Street to heed the message that insider trading can carry a stiff sentence.
Insider trading is very, very hard to detect and because of that has to be dealt with harshly, he said.
Prosecutors called Goffer, who once worked at Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon Group hedge fund firm, the ringleader of a scheme to trade on tips about pending takeovers of computer network equipment maker 3Com Corp and Canadian drug company Axcan Pharma Inc.
He was known as Octopussy, after the James Bond film, for his many sources of information.
Rajaratnam is due to be sentenced next week in Manhattan federal court.
Goffer was convicted along with his brother Emanuel Goffer and a third trader, Michael Kimelman. Both are scheduled to be sentenced next month.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff was due to sentence former technology company consultant Winifred Jiau later on Wednesday. She was also convicted in June and the government has called on the judge to hand her a 10-year sentence.
The case is USA v Zvi Goffer et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-00056.
(Reporting by Basil Katz; editing by Tim Dobbyn and Andre Grenon)