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SEC Charges Billionaire, Tech Execs With Insider Trading

Executives from IBM, Intel, and McKinsey are among those charged.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged six finance and technology executives and a hedge fund with insider trading.

Those charged include a senior VP at IBM, a managing director at Intel Capital, and a director at McKinsey & Company.

The SEC said that billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, head of Galleon Management, a hedge fund advisory firm based in New York, conspired with five other individuals in a scheme that generated over $25 million in illegal gains.

The SEC's complaint claims that Rajaratnam and his associates obtained confidential information about corporate earnings or takeover activity at several companies, including Google, Hilton, and Sun Microsystems.

Rajaratnam and others then allegedly used that information to conduct illegal stock transactions.

SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami said in a statement that Rajaratnam's financial results were not a consequence of savvy trading but of savvy networking. "He cultivated a network of high-ranking corporate executives and insiders, and then tapped into this ring to obtain confidential details about quarterly earnings and takeover activity," said Khuzami.

In addition to Rajaratnam, those charged include: New Castle Funds portfolio manager Danielle Chiesi of New York, N.Y., Intel Capital managing director Rajiv Goel of Los Altos, Calif., McKinsey & Company director Anil Kumar of Saratoga, Calif., New Castle senior managing director and general partner Mark Kurland of Mount Kisco, N.Y., and IBM senior VP Robert Moffat of Ridgefield, Conn.

New Castle Funds is the hedge fund named in the complaint.

The charges could signal intensified regulatory vigilance, something widely advocated following the economic crisis that began last year. At a press conference, Khuzami said that hedge funds represent an area of particular concern for the SEC and will be subject to closer scrutiny in the future.

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