Galleon insider Ali Hariri gets an 18-month sentence

A former vice president of California chipmaker Atheros Communications was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for his role in what authorities have called the biggest hedge fund insider trading case in history.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Holwell announced the sentence after Ali Hariri declined to say anything on his own behalf. The sentence was less than the two-year term recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.

Still, Holwell said a prison term was necessary, citing “the risk to a fair marketplace of this type of behavior.”

The judge added: “The harm is a harm to the system.”

Hariri, 39, pleaded guilty in March to securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He was among 21 people arrested in the case a year ago. Already, a dozen people have pleaded guilty to charges.

The San Francisco resident admitted feeding inside information about the wireless communications company where he worked to a friend employed at a hedge fund.

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