Fourteen people were charged with fraud and conspiracy in a dramatic widening of an insider trading scandal that has ensnared hedge fund managers, top Silicon Valley executives and a bevy of white-shoe advisers.

In complaints that read like scripts for the TV series The Sopranos, prosecutors alleged suspects dropped off bags full of cash, used prepaid cellphones to dodge wiretaps, and adopted nicknames such as the Greek.

We allege some of the defendants (were) taking a page from the drug dealers' playbook (and) deliberately used anonymous, hard-to-trace, pre-paid cellphones in order to avoid law enforcement detection, federal prosecutor Preet Bharara told a news conference.

When sophisticated business people begin to adopt the methods of common criminals, we have no choice but to treat them as such, he said.

The latest charges involve some of the same companies and individuals implicated in the Galleon Group insider trading scandal that broke three weeks ago. It was not clear whether the illegal networks were linked or worked together.

In the largest branch of the investigation unveiled on Thursday, Zvi Goffer, manager of New York-based trading firm Incremental Capital, was accused of leading an insider trading ring that netted $11 million.

Prosecutors said they had uncovered illegal profits of more than $20 million -- on top of the $20 million that authorities say was pocketed by the Galleon group.

The Galleon case is already the biggest hedge fund insider trading scheme in Wall Street history. Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of the Galleon Group, is accused of masterminding the illegal operation.


The Galleon case is turning into one of the biggest insider trading rings since the Ivan Boesky scandals of the 1980s. The Boesky case capped off a gilded age for Wall Street and ultimately brought down Drexel Burnham Lambert. The current case follows last year's financial meltdown that erased fortunes on Wall Street and Main Street alike.

Participants with access to inside information, including a lawyer, a former Moody's executive and an executive with a wireless networking firm, were charged with leaking confidential information about takeovers and other activities.

Prosecutors introduced a new group of suspects on Thursday, including Goffer, who previously worked at Galleon, and Michael Kimelman, an Incremental Capital co-founder who was a former Sullivan & Cromwell merger and acquisition attorney.

Participants with access to inside information, including a lawyer, a former Moody's executive and an executive with a wireless networking firm, were charged with leaking confidential information about takeovers and other activities.

The basis of the scheme was to make trades using insider information on upcoming mergers, some of it gathered from a lawyer at the firm of Ropes & Gray, Arthur Cutillo, who was arrested.

Kimelman did not answer a call placed to his cellphone soon after his arrest this morning.

A woman claiming to be Kimelman's wife answered the phone at his Larchmont, New York, home this morning. When asked about her husband's arrest, she said, I don't think I should be speaking to you about this.


Also arrested were Jason Goldfarb, an attorney; Craig Drimal, a former employee in Galleon's office; and Emanuel Goffer and David Plate, both also associated with Incremental Capital.

The complaints allege Zvi Goffer paid sources for inside information. He provided his tipsters with prepaid cellphones so they could minimize the chances of getting caught when passing on tips, the complaint said.

Zvi Goffer worked at Schottenfeld, a New York-based broker dealer, for nearly all of 2007, the complaint said. He moved to Galleon in 2008, where he worked for about eight months before quitting to start Incremental Capital.

Zvi Goffer's scheme involved shares of 3Com Corp and Avaya, according to the complaint.

Separately, prosecutors charged Deep Shah, a former employee of ratings firm Moody's Corp, and Ali Hariri, a vice president of broadband carrier networking at wireless networking chipmaker Atheros Communications Inc, with leaking confidential information as part of insider trading schemes.

Hariri was arrested in San Francisco, while Shah is still at large, the federal prosecutor's office said.

Moody's did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Another five individuals who were previously charged have pleaded guilty to insider trading charges, prosecutors said, including current or former executives of hedge funds S2 Capital and Spherix. Also pleading guilty was Roomy Khan, a convicted felon and former Intel employee cited as a cooperating witness in the Galleon probe.

Among those entangled in the Galleon case were executives at several major companies, including International Business Machines Corp and Intel Corp.

Rajaratnam is free on bail.

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