SAC Tipper Aggarwal Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud

Sandeep Aggarwal, a former research analyst with Collins Stewart LLC, admitted passing inside information about a deal involving Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to a former SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager.

Aggarwal, 40, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and securities fraud in a hearing today in federal court in Manhattan. He told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis that he tipped “Richard Lee and others” about the Yahoo-Microsoft venture in 2009.

“I did this to improve my standing as an analyst and to increase revenue for my firm,” Aggarwal told Ellis, reading from a prepared statement and becoming visibly emotional at times. “I know what I did was wrong and I’m very sorry for my conduct.

Aggarwal faces as much as 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced and may be deported to his native India. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in hopes of receiving leniency.

SAC, which is owned by billionaire Steven Cohen, is scheduled to plead guilty to criminal charges today as part of a record $1.8 billion insider-trading settlement with the government.

The case is U.S. v. Aggarwal, 13-mj-01877, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).