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Goffer Prosecution Rests as Kimelman Recalls FBI Witness

Prosecutors rested their insider-trading case against ex-Galleon Group LLC trader Zvi Goffer, who offered no evidence on his own behalf, while a lawyer for one of Goffer’s accused accomplices, Michael Kimelman, tried to show his client didn’t trade on illegal tips.

Less than two weeks after opening its case against Goffer, his brother Emanuel and Kimelman, federal prosecutors today told the judge and jury in Manhattan federal court that they had no other evidence to present. A lawyer for Zvi Goffer then rested his case without presenting evidence, while Kimelman’s lawyer, Michael Sommer, recalled a government witness for further testimony.

The witness, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Jan Trigg, testified under questioning from Sommer that Kimelman didn’t use a prepaid cell phone, as others in the scheme had done, and that Kimelman worked at a different firm than Zvi Goffer in 2007. She testified that the FBI never recorded the two sharing illegal information and that Zvi Goffer didn’t telephone Kimelman after he got a tip from another trader.

“Did he ever call Mr. Kimelman at all for the balance of that day?” Sommer asked, referring to Zvi Goffer.

“He does not appear to call him,” Trigg testified as she reviewed records.

The three men are accused of trading on illegal tips that came from attorneys then working at the Ropes & Gray LLP law firm. The tips were about transactions involving 3Com Corp. and other stocks, according to prosecutors.

Raj Rajaratnam

Goffer’s ex-boss, Raj Rajaratnam, was found guilty May 11 of insider trading. He faces as long as 19 1/2 years in prison when he’s sentenced on July 29. Prosecutors previously said that Goffer passed inside information to another Galleon trader to impress the hedge fund’s managers.

Summations in the Goffer case may begin as early as tomorrow. Emanuel Goffer’s defense team will begin presenting evidence this afternoon. Prosecutors may put on a rebuttal case.

In questioning Trigg, Sommer sought to show that Kimelman didn’t trade in 3Com at the same time as others who are accused of insider trading or have pleaded guilty to doing so. Kimelman sold shares of 3Com on Sept. 28, 2007, about 90 minutes before the maker of computer-networking equipment announced that it would be acquired by Bain Capital LLC, Trigg testified after being shown records by the defense.

“He put in an order to sell, yes,” Trigg said as Sommer asked questions aiming to show that such a stock sale would be inconsistent with insider trading.

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

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