UPDATE 4-Insiders handed four- and 10-year prison terms

Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:21pm EDT

* Judge says Goffer jail term sends message to Wall Street

* Consultant Jiau handed four-year sentence

* Galleon's Raj Rajaratnam sentencing postponed to Oct. 13 (Recasts story to reflect sentencing of Winifred Jiau)

By Basil Katz

NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Two people who lost their insider trading trials earlier this year were sentenced on Wednesday to 10 and four years in prison, as the government continues its crack down on illegal trades.

Former securities trader Zvi Goffer, 34, known as "Octopussy" because of his many sources of information, was sentenced to 10 years, while former technology company consultant Winifred Jiau, 43, was handed a four-year sentence.

Both Jiau and Goffer were arrested in separate probes, and were convicted in June by Manhattan federal court juries at their respective trials.

Goffer's case was part of a wide-ranging probe of insider trading by hedge funds and traders, which was noted for the use of FBI wiretaps and led to the conviction of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Jiau was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who has overseen the government's case focusing on so-called expert network firms, which match business experts with hedge funds.

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan, who sentenced Goffer, said the former trader had forfeited any claim to leniency by choosing to go to trial rather than admitting his crimes, as many of his co-defendants in the investigation elected to do.

"You gambled and you lost," Sullivan said.

The judge also repeated his call on Wall Street to heed the message that insider trading can carry a stiff sentence.

"Insider trading is very, very hard to detect and because of that has to be dealt with harshly," he said.

Prosecutors called Goffer, who once worked at Rajaratnam's Galleon Group hedge fund firm, the ringleader of a scheme to trade on tips about pending takeovers of computer network equipment maker 3Com Corp and Canadian drug company Axcan Pharma Inc.

Goffer was convicted along with his brother Emanuel Goffer and a third trader, Michael Kimelman. Both are scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Meanwhile, Rajaratnam's sentencing before a different Manhattan federal judge, Richard Holwell, was postponed on Wednesday to Oct. 13 from Sept. 27, a court filing showed.

No reason for the postponement was given. The office of the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Rajaratnam had no immediate comment.

Octopussy was a character in the 1983 James Bond movie of the same name.

The case is USA v Zvi Goffer et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-00056. (Reporting by Basil Katz; Additional reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Eddie Evans, Steve Orlofsky and Bob Burgdorfer)

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