Convicted ex-Galleon trader loses bail bid

Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:44pm EST
 
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NEW YORK Jan 23 (Reuters) - A former trader at the Galleon Group hedge fund lost his bid to be freed on bail while he challenges his conviction and 10-year prison sentence for insider trading related to two corporate mergers.

In an order dated Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan said Zvi Goffer failed to demonstrate a "substantial likelihood" that the challenge would succeed, or exceptional circumstances that would justify bail.

Goffer, 38, was once known as "Octopussy" after the James Bond film, for his many sources of information.

The judge gave him until Feb. 22 to formally request that his conviction be thrown out.

A lawyer for Goffer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Goffer had contended that his 2011 trial and conviction were tainted by defective jury instructions.

He pointed to a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision last month that a trader, in order to be convicted of insider trading, needed to know that the original source of a tip had received a "personal benefit" in exchange for that information.

But in Friday's order, Sullivan said the 2nd Circuit previously found that Goffer "not only had direct knowledge of the tippers' receipt of a benefit but also personally directed the payment of cash to tippers."

Goffer is not eligible for release from prison until August 2020.

The case is U.S. v. Goffer, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-cr-00056. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)