Securities Law

Another Former Ropes & Gray Associate Is Charged in Galleon Case

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A second attorney who formerly worked at Ropes & Gray has been criminally charged in a federal case related to the alleged Galleon Group insider-trading scheme.

And immediately after the announcement of fraud and conspiracy charges against Brien Santarlas, he pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan, Bloomberg reported. Santarlas, who apparently hasn’t yet been sentenced, is represented by attorney Robert Stahl.

Reuters reports that Santarlas, who left Ropes & Gray in 2008, told a federal magistrate judge that he and another co-conspirator obtained confidential information that led to the purchase of 75,000 shares of 3Com Inc. stock.

The 33-year-old attorney admitted that he and another former associate of the Boston-based law firm, Arthur Cutillo, went through files, eavesdropped on the conversations of Ropes & Gray attorneys and even questioned unwitting associates to glean inside information about deals on which the law firm was working, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

These deals included a including a failed bid by Bain Capital Partners LLC to buy 3Com Corp. and the acquisition of Axcan Pharma Inc. by TPG Capital.

“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” he told Judge Andrew Peck today.

The Associated Press reports that Santarlas also obtained confidential information from Ropes & Gray computers to feed to an outside lawyer in exchange for cash, and says the firm fired Santarlas in 2008.

Santarlas is an intellectual property lawyer from Hoboken, N.J., Bloomberg reports.

Charges against Cutillo were announced last month. As detailed in an earlier post, he is accused of leaking confidential information he obtained at the law firm to a New York attorney.

“The actions of these two former associates represent an extreme breach of their duty of trust to our clients and the firm, as well as gross violations of our policies and civil and criminal law,” Ropes & Gray said in a statement.

Related coverage: “Former Sullivan & Cromwell Lawyer Is Among Galleon Defendants”

Updated at 3:52 p.m. to include information from Dow Jones Newswires article and at 5:25 p.m. to include Associated Press information.

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