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Galleon Ex-Trader Goffer Loses Bid to Dismiss Charges

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Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Former Galleon Group LLC trader Zvi Goffer, who is accused of leading an insider-trading ring, and his co-defendants lost their bid to have the government’s case dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan today also refused to exclude from trial most wiretap recordings secretly made by prosecutors. Sullivan set trial for May 9.

“I’m not sure all the defendants will be going to trial,” Cynthia Monaco, an attorney for Goffer, told the judge. After court, she said in an interview that some of the defendants may enter guilty pleas. She didn’t say which ones.

Goffer and the others are accused in insider-trading cases involving Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam, who denies wrongdoing, was arrested in October 2009 as part of a first wave of charges accusing him and others of trading on leaks from corporate officials, hedge-fund traders, and other insiders. Goffer was part of the second wave of arrests, in November 2009.

Prosecutors said the Goffer ring traded on stock tips originating from lawyers at the Ropes & Gray LLP law firm in New York and from an ex-trader at New York-based Schottenfeld Group LLC, where Goffer also worked. The U.S. has placed Goffer at the center of the scheme and claimed his accomplices called him “Octopussy,” a reference to the 1983 James Bond movie, because of his many sources of information.

In a motion to dismiss filed in November 2010, the defendants assailed what they called the government’s “convoluted theory” of insider trading. The “alleged inside tips consist of material information that is already public, or nonpublic information that is not material,” according to their brief.

The case is U.S. v. Goffer, 10-cr-00056, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: David Glovin in New York federal court at glovin@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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