Rajiv Goel, the former Intel executive named in a massive Wall Street insider trading scandal, could plead guilty to charges as early as Feb. 8, according to published reports.
Federal prosecutors filed papers Feb. 4 in U.S. District Court in New York indicating that the 51-year-old, who was placed on administrative leave after his arrest in October and left Intel just before Jan. 1, was waiving indictment, according to various reports.
Such a move is a key step that needs to be taken before a defendant can enter a guilty plea. Goel is due back in court Feb. 8.
Goel is among almost two dozen people arrested in connection with an insider trading scandal that involves two Wall Street hedge funds, including one run by Raj Rajaratnam, one of the country's richest men. Investigators have said the scheme generated as much as $20 million in illegal gains.
Goel, who at the time was a managing director in Intel's treasury department, is charged with leaking confidential Intel information to Rajaratnam, who prosecutors say made stock trades based on that information. Prosecutors have said Rajaratnam, who founded the Galleon Group hedge fund, made about $579,000 in profits from the information.
Goel is alleged to have given Rajaratnam information regarding Clearwire, a wireless company that Intel had invested in. In addition, he is said to have given the hedge fund manager information regarding Intel's quarterly financial reports before Intel had published them.
In return, investigators said, Rajaratnam made favorable trades for Goel.
If he pleads guilty, Goel will be the ninth person to admit wrongdoing in the case.
Goel was one of several high-level tech executives caught up in the case. Robert Moffat, who was senior vice president and group executive of IBM's Systems and Technology Group and a frontrunner to one day take over as CEO, was charged in the case for allegedly giving nonpublic information regarding IBM, Advanced Micro Devices and Sun Microsystems to Danielle Chiesi, a manager at hedge fund New Castle Funds.
Moffat has since left IBM.
In documents in the case against Chiesi, prosecutors refer to an unnamed executive at AMD who they said gave her inside information. Though not he has not been charged, several reports in the Wall Street Journal and other publications have identified former AMD CEO Hector Ruiz as that unnamed executive. Ruiz on Nov. 2 resigned his position as chairman of Globalfoundries, a chip manufacturing company that AMD spun off in 2009.