Indian-born US attorney Preet Bharara has thrown another person behind bars for insider trading, this time an Indian, Sandeep Aggarwal, a 40-year-old internet analyst from Gurgaon.
Aggarwal pled guilty on Friday in a Manhattan court to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which could together get him 25 years in jail.
His sentencing will take place in May, 2014.
The charges emerged from a 2009 move by Microsoft to partner with Yahoo. Aggarwal was then with a US equity firm that worked with SAC, the fund busted by Bharara recently.
Aggarwal returned to India in 2011 and founded an online commerce site called shopclues.com, which is based in Gurgaon. The company refused to comment.
Aggarwal was arrested in the US in July.
His guilty plea puts him among the swelling ranks of those busted by Bharara for insider trading – with Rajat Gupta, Raj Rajaratnam and SAC’s Mathew Martoma.
Martoma has contested charges brought again him.
Working as a research analyst at a San Francisco financial services firm, Aggarwal had access to insider information from a friend at Microsoft about Yahoo partnership talks.
Bharara’s office in a statement on Friday said that Aggarwal’s Microsoft friend told him on July 9, 2009 that talks with Yahoo, which had been stalled recently, were to recommence shortly, and that a transaction was likely in the next few weeks.
Aggarwal told his seniors about it the next day, who, in turn, asked him to pass on the information to the firm’s clients, including SAC Capital.
The same day, these clients bought Yahoo shares on the basis of this tip, and offloaded them for a tidy profit when the talks were confirmed by news reports later.