* Doug Whitman convicted on Google, Marvell, Polycom trades
* Whitman had taken stand in own defense, denied wrongdoing
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, Jan 24 California hedge fund manager
Doug Whitman was sentenced on Thursday to two years in prison,
after he had become the first defendant in a broad U.S.
crackdown on insider trading to take the stand to convince
jurors of his innocence.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan imposed the
sentence, which was less than half the 4-1/4 to 5-1/4 years that
federal prosecutors wanted.
Whitman, the founder of Whitman Capital LLC in Menlo Park,
had been convicted in August of securities fraud and conspiracy
over his involvement in two insider trading schemes between 2006
Prosecutors said one scheme resulted in more than $900,000
of illegal profit from trades in Google Inc and
videoconferencing company Polycom Inc. They said the
other involved "soft-dollar" payments used to obtain tips on and
then trade in chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
Rakoff said he believed Whitman "repeatedly perjured
himself" on the stand, and was "willfully, blatantly aware that
he was trading on inside information every step of the way."
But he also noted evidence of the defendant's good
character, including his assistance to children with learning
disabilities, in imposing punishment.
Whitman choked up as he read from a prepared statement prior
to learning his punishment.
"This has been the most painful and shaming experience of my
life," Whitman said. "My father taught me not to cut corners and
I tried to apply that to my life and my job ... My trial and my
conviction have served as a rude and bitter wakeup call."
Whitman was also fined $250,000. Federal prosecutor Chris
LaVigne said the government will seek to force him to forfeit
about $935,000 of illegal profit.
The defendant is scheduled to surrender on May 9. His lawyer
David Anderson said he believes there are several grounds for
The case is U.S. v. Whitman, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 12-cr-00125.