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Judge Spares Prison Sentence For Insider Trading Defendant

Gavel (file / credit: clipart.com)

Gavel (file / credit: clipart.com)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein came to court Wednesday determined to send a Massachusetts cooperator to prison for his inside trading conviction.

But the judge changed his mind after a prosecutor described the defendant’s key role in a historic prosecution.

Judge Stein instead ordered Steven Fortuna of Westwood, Mass., Wednesday to serve six months home confinement.

Stein said a prison sentence was appropriate and even necessary until he heard a prosecutor describe the extent of 50-year-old Fortuna’s cooperation in what prosecutors once called the biggest insider trading case in history.

The judge noted that Fortuna’s cooperation helped the government convict a close friend of a corrupt billionaire hedge fund founder and a former top Intel Corp. executive. Both were sentenced to prison terms. More than two dozen people were convicted in the prosecution.

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