M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lawyer in Galleon web pleads guilty

Jason Goldfarb, a lawyer, who along with Arthur Cutillo, former Ropes & Gray associate, and Zvi Goffer occupied a far corner of the Galleon web, pleaded guilty this afternoon according to the AP.

Jason Goldfarb told a Manhattan federal court judge Thursday he made a "horrible mistake" by agreeing to accept money and arrange for secrets about mergers and acquisitions to be passed to a securities trader.

According to reporting in the WSJ

Mr. Goldfarb told the judge that Mr. Goffer, whom he called a friend, had approached him soon after he graduated from law school, around 2004, and asked him if he knew anyone doing corporate work. A few years later, Mr. Goldfarb said, he ran into his old college roommate, Mr. Cutillo, whose firm was merging with another firm and was doing more corporate work.

Mr. Goldfarb said he remembered what Mr. Goffer had said, and arranged a dinner with Messrs. Goffer and Cutillo. Mr. Goffer told them he was interested in any information "where he might be able to make some money," Mr. Goldfarb said. Later, Mr. Goldfarb said, he began getting together with Messrs. Cutillo and Santarlas and started relaying confidential information from them to Mr. Goffer.

The Times today had an op-ed on how people stumble into bad behavior

They overlook transgressions — bending a rule to help a colleague, overlooking information that might damage the reputation of a client — because it is in their interest to do so.

It's a bit of slippery slope, I suppose, but if Goldfarb's experience tells us anything, it's a quick trip down that slope once it starts.



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