Insider Trading “Rampant” On Wall St.: US Attorney

The top federal prosecutor in New York said Wednesday that insider trading on Wall Street is 'rampant' and suggested many new arrests could soon occur.

"Unfortunately, from what I can see, from my vantage point as the United States' Attorney here, illegal insider trading is rampant," said US attorney Preet Bharara. "Because illegal insider trading appears so prevalent ...we have devoted significant resources to this. There is more deterrence to be achieved."

Bharara did not say when - or how many - new arrests of Wall Street traders might take place. But in his speech, he stated,''Insider trading I predict will become a bigger issue in the future."

It was a year ago billionaire Raj Rajaratnam was charged with conspiracy and securities fraud in an FBI insider trading case. More than 20 traders and corporate insiders have been charged in cases where the FBI used court-authorized wiretaps to record the alleged illegal trades.

Rajaratnam has pleaded not guilty while several others have since entered pleas of guilty including a former IBM executive.

In his speech to the City Bar Association, Bharara said his office will continue to use wiretaps to catch white collar crooks.

"Recordings are the best evidence and we will not shirk from using them," Bharara said. "Insider trading is extremely significant -- it is theft and a fraud and it is intolerable."

 Jonathan Dienst/WNBC

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