Former IBM Corp executive Robert Moffat, who admitted to charges of insider trading in the Galleon hedge fund probe, told Fortune magazine that his affair with co-defendant Danielle Chiesi was more about business than sex.

Moffat, once a candidate to succeed IBM Chief Executive Officer Samuel Palmisano, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 13 in Manhattan federal court for his role in what U.S. prosecutors describe as the biggest probe of insider trading at hedge funds in the United States.

Everyone wants to make this about sex, Fortune quoted Moffat as saying. Danielle had an extensive network of business people. And she added clarity about what was going on in the business world...I know in my heart what this relationship was about: clarity in the business environment.

Moffat's lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, declined to comment on the article, which was posted Tuesday on

Chiesi's lawyer, Alan Kaufman, also declined to comment.

Chiesi and Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, 53, the principal defendants in the case, have pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges. They are fighting to suppress wiretap evidence before their October trial.

Moffat was emotional, repentant, and chastened, Fortune said.

He pleaded guilty on March 29 to securities fraud and conspiracy charges leaving his 31-year career at IBM in ruins.

Prosecutors said he had access to inside information regarding IBM's licencing of a deal involving Advanced Micro Devices Inc that he passed on to Chiesi in August 2008. In court he also referred to earnings information about Lenovo Group Ltd <0992.HK>, while he was a nonvoting board member and details of IBM server sales.

Chiesi, 44, a former trader at New Castle hedge fund in New York, was the lover on and off for two decades of Mark Kurland, the man who was her boss at New Castle, Fortune said. Kurland pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the Galleon case and was sentenced in May to 27 months in prison.