Former Intel executive, Rajiv Goel, has pleaded guilty to passing on confidential information to billionaire Raj Rajaratnam in the Galleon Hedge Fund scam, the largest insider trading fraud in the US history.
The 51-year-old Goel, an Indian American, has been charged with conspiracy and security fraud.
"I gave Raj Rajaratnam the information because of my friendship with him. I cannot express how sorry I am...," Goel, who could get a sentence of 20 years in prison, said in a federal court in Manhattan.
"I come here to do the right thing," he told the judge. Both the disgraced businessmen became friends at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
"Rajiv Goel is a professional who abused the access he had to sensitive corporate secrets to benefit a select few," Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Indian-American Goel admitted to providing Rajaratnam with insider information about the earnings of his own company between 2007 and 2009, and the Sri Lankan billionaire Rajaratnam helped Goel with some "personal financial needs".
Last month, former McKinsey partner, Anil Kumar, had pleaded guilty in the case.
In October 2009, Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was slapped with 13 charges — four counts of conspiracy and eight counts of security fraud. In December, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Galleon Group is a hedge fund with up to seven billion dollar in assets under management. Out of illegal profits, Rajaratnam alone made $50 million from inside information.
This is the first case to use authorised wiretaps and the investigators are still on the job.