Alleged SAC Tipper Aggarwal Released on $500,000 Bond

Sandeep Aggarwal, a former research analyst accused of giving inside tips about a Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. venture to former SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager Richard Lee, won release on a $500,000 bond.

Aggarwal, 40, formerly worked at Collins Stewart LLC in San Francisco, said a person familiar with the situation. He made an initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco on July 30 after being arrested the day before by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in San Jose, California, as part of a probe tied to insider trading at SAC.

SAC Capital, owned by billionaire Steven Cohen, was indicted July 25 in what the U.S. called an unprecedented, decade-long insider trading scheme. That day, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced Lee’s guilty plea and said Lee was cooperating with prosecutors.

“We continue to review the allegations,” Sam Braverman, Aggarwal’s lawyer, said in an interview today after court. “The defendant as promised came to New York to address the charges directly.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas in Manhattan granted Aggarwal’s release on a personal recognizance bond and ordered him to surrender all travel documents. Maas also required that Aggarwal get an additional financially responsible person who is a U.S. citizen to sign his bond by Aug. 12.

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Aggarwal lived in Northern California and had recently returned home to of Gurgaon, India, the U.S. said. Braverman said his client would live in the U.S. while the case is pending.

In July 2009, Aggarwal provided material nonpublic information about a strategic partnership in Internet search and advertising between Microsoft and Yahoo to two different hedge funds, including SAC, the U.S. alleged in a criminal complaint.

According to the U.S., on July 9, 2009, Aggarwal learned from a friend employed by Microsoft about the partnership discussions and that a transaction was likely to be announced within weeks. The next day, Aggarwal gave the information to Lee, who was then a portfolio manager at SAC, the U.S. said. He also passed the information to about 14 traders or hedge fund managers, the U.S. said.

Aggarwal, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and a second charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, faces as long as 25 years in prison if convicted.

The case is U.S. v. Aggarwal, 13-mj-01877, and the SAC case is U.S. v. SAC Capital Advisors LP, 13-cr-00541, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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