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Ex-IBM Honcho Claims He’s Innocent

Moffat, former high-ranking IBM executive, asked a New York court Wednesday to dismiss the SEC’s civil charges against him

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The rumor mill says that Apple could be out with that tablet it’s supposed to have up its sleeve in March or April. According to Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner, it’s supposed to have a 10.1-inch iPhone-style multi-touch screen and a $1,000 price tag. It would compete with Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. Reiner says Apple’s been pitching book publishers on a non-executive deal giving them 70% of the money, more lucrative for them than Amazon, which is thought to demand 50% of the take. Reiner thinks Apple means to make a million of the widgets a month to start.

Robert Moffat, the former high-ranking IBM executive arrested in October in the Galleon insider trading roundup, asked a New York court Wednesday to dismiss the SEC's civil charges against him.

He claims he didn't pass material insider information on IBM and Sun earnings or AMD's sale of its plants to co-defendant Danielle Chiesi despite government wire taps to the contrary. Chiesi, an analyst at the New Castle hedge fund and an alleged Galleon tipster, also denied the charges.

Moffat, one of the IBMers who did due diligence on Sun when Blue was thinking of buying it, denied having the information to tip Chiesi to the results of Sun's fiscal 2Q08 quarter before they were out as alleged or, as his lawyers put it, Moffat "admits that in January 2009 IBM was conducting preliminary due diligence concerning Sun, denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief to the truth of allegations that Sun provided IBM with its Q2 2009 earnings results in advance of a January 27, 2009 announcement."

He did admit to talking to Chiesi "from time to time during early 2009" and oddly enough her information was spot on.

New Castle co-founder Mark Kurland, former Intel exec Rajiv Goel and McKinsey & Co director Anil Kumar also denied the charges or took the fifth. Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, who is trying to get the wire taps suppressed as a violation of his rights, asserted his innocence late last month

Aside from trading on her own, Chiesi is charged with passing insider information to Rajaratnam to trade on. Goel allegedly passed Rajaratnam information on Intel and Intel investment Clearwire and Kumar on AMD.

Federal attorneys have brought criminal charges against 20 people and the SEC has filed parallel civil suits.

Moffat lost his high-profile job as head of IBM's server and chip units after his arrest.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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