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Analyst charged in SAC insider-trading probe

A securities analyst accused of leaking secret information in 2009 about a potential partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft to an SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund manager and other traders was arrested and charged in California, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Sandeep Aggarwal, who worked as an analyst covering technology stocks before moving to India to start his own Internet company, was arrested on Monday by FBI agents in San Jose while visiting the United States. He made his initial appearance in San Francisco federal court Tuesday, charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud related to insider trading.

Aggarwal, 40, did not enter a plea to allegations that he passed nonpublic information to about a dozen hedge fund managers including SAC portfolio manager Richard Lee, who pleaded guilty last week days before the hedge fund itself was indicted on Thursday in New York.

The hedge fund has been under investigation in a crackdown on insider trading.

According to the criminal complaint, Aggarwal told Lee his "best industry contact" who was a "senior guy at Microsoft" said the two companies had resumed their talks, and that senior executives from Yahoo were visiting Microsoft's headquarters, elevating the seriousness of the negotiations.

The former Microsoft employee, who is not identified in the complaint, is cooperating with the government.

-- Reuters

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