A former hedge fund manager who provided evidence for dozens of insider trading convictions, including that of Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, avoided prison on Wednesday at his sentencing in Manhattan federal court.Thomas Hardin, who previously ran Lanexa Management, pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy and securities fraud charges, amid more than six years of what prosecutors called "extraordinary" assistance."It is very clear to me that Mr. Hardin indeed provided exceptionally substantial and effective assistance in the investigation and prosecution of other persons," U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said in imposing sentence.Swain also praised Hardin for cooperating immediately upon being approached in 2008 by federal agents and for doing so for more than year before retaining a lawyer and signing a plea deal.In court papers, prosecutors said Hardin wore a wire while meeting with friends and colleagues and provided other assistance that led directly or indirectly to dozens of cases.Hardin is among numerous cooperating witnesses who have helped the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charge more than 90 individuals since October 2009 in a broad insider trading crackdown.
Rajaratnam is serving an 11-year sentence after his 2011 conviction. His younger brother, Rengan, was acquitted of conspiring to engage in insider trading last year, ending a five-year winning streak for Bharara's office.
Prosecutors said Hardin traded in shares of companies including Hilton Hotels (hlt), Google (goog), and Kronos based on illegal tips from Roomy Khan, a key figure in the Galleon case who also pleaded guilty and cooperated.
Hardin told Swain that he was "deeply humbled and ashamed" by his conduct but that he hoped he had made amends through his assistance.
"The actions that brought me here today were selfish, reckless and inexcusable," he said.