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Former IBM exec pleads guilty in Galleon case

Robert Moffat was once thought to be a candidate for chief executive at Big Blue.

A former senior IBM executive pleaded guilty on Monday to securities fraud in a case that has also reached the executive ranks at high-tech giants Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Robert Moffat, once thought to be a candidate for chief executive at IBM, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud at a Manhattan federal court, according to the Associated Press. He will face up to six months in prison, based on federal sentencing guidelines.

Moffat, 53, provided confidential information about a reorganization at chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, among other confidential data.

"I disclosed this information in this case intentionally and I knew that what I was doing was wrong," he said, according to the AP report.

The federal case revolves around Raj Rajaratnam, who founded the Galleon Group, a New York-based hedge fund. Federal prosecutors charged Rajaratnam and others, including Moffat, with securities fraud, alleging they were involved in insider trading of well-known tech companies, including Intel, Google, AMD, and IBM. Rajaratnam remains free on $100 million bail.

Moffat's action follows a guilty plea from Intel executive Rajiv Goel in February. Goel, a former Intel treasury department executive, admitted to providing Rajaratnam, in 2007, with details about Intel's earnings before the information was publicly available. He also told Rajaratnam about a future Sprint Nextel joint venture that Intel had targeted for a $1 billion investment.

And former AMD chief executive Hector Ruiz, while not charged, resigned as chairman of AMD spin-off Globalfoundries when it emerged that he was linked to the complaint filed in October by the U.S. attorney for New York's Southern District against Rajaratnamm and others.