Legal Ethics

Former BigLaw Lawyer Sentenced to Six Months in Prison for Insider Trading


A former Ropes & Gray patent lawyer who cooperated in an insider trading investigation has been sentenced to six months in prison for his role in the wrongdoing.

Brien Santarlas was sentenced on Tuesday, report Bloomberg Businessweek, Reuters, the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). He will also have to forfeit $32,500 and serve two years of probation.

Santarlas pleaded guilty in December 2009 and helped prosecutors convict former Galleon Group trader Zvi Goffer. Santarlas testified at Goffer’s trial that he agreed to steal secrets about upcoming mergers from the files of other lawyers at his firm because he wasn’t happy with his pay. “While we were making good money, it seemed like nothing compared to the money on Wall Street,” Santarlas testified.

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said Santarlas could have gotten a three-year sentence, AP reports. The judge said some jail time was required to send a message to others in the same position as Santarlas that, “You don’t get a pass.”

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