Eight people charged in a coast-to-coast U.S. hedge fund insider trading investigation have at least one more month for possible resolution of their criminal cases, according to court records on Monday.
The eight were among 14 people charged with fraud on November 5 in the widening of an insider-trading scandal that initially shook hedge funds in mid-October with the arrest of Galleon Management LP's billionaire founder Raj Rajaratnam.
The investigation ensnared hedge fund managers in New York and Silicon Valley executives in California as well as advisers.
In all, some 20 people have been criminally charged or face civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of making tens of millions of dollars in illegal profits by trading on non-public information.
A document filed in Manhattan federal court said prosecutors and defense lawyers have consented that the continuance may be granted for the purpose of receiving and reviewing certain pre-indictment discovery and discussing dispositions in the case.
By January 6, prosecutors may bring an indictment, or the parties could reach resolution of the cases, or the time for discussions and assessing evidence could be extended into February.
One of the defendants, Zvi Goffer, previously worked at Galleon. In the largest branch of the investigation, Goffer, manager of New York-based trading firm Incremental Capital and nicknamed Octopussy, was accused by prosecutors of leading an insider-trading ring that netted $11 million.
Goffer's lawyer, Cynthia Monaco, declined to comment on Monday.
The other defendants whose criminal cases have been extended by Monday's orders are: Arthur Cutillo, Jason Goldfarb and Michael Kimelman, all lawyers; former Galleon employee Craig Drimal, Zvi Goffer's brother Emanuel, David Plate of Incremental Capital and Atheros Communications Inc executive Ali Hariri.
Lawyers for the defendants either declined to comment or could not be reached for comment.
Five other defendants have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors. Another is believed to be in India and has not made any court appearances in the United States.
The cases are: USA v Zvi Goffer et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 09-02438.
USA v Ali Hariri, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 09-02436.
(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Leslie Gevirtz)