According to the U.S., on July 9, 2009, Aggarwal learned from a friend at Microsoft about the partnership discussions and that a transaction was likely to be announced within weeks.
The next day, Aggarwal gave the information to Lee, then at SAC, and told him he had heard it from a source, whom Aggarwal described as “a senior guy” at Microsoft, according to the U.S.
Aggarwal told Lee that Yahoo executives had been meeting with senior Microsoft officials at Microsoft’s offices and that an announcement would be made on the agreement within two weeks, the U.S. alleged in the complaint.
Aggarwal spoke to about 14 traders or portfolio managers at various hedge funds about the Microsoft-Yahoo partnership, the U.S. said. Prosecutors also alleged in the criminal complaint that a Microsoft executive working in the Bing division is a co- conspirator in the case. They didn’t name the executive.
One of the hedge funds was Millennium Management LLC, the person familiar with the matter said. The hedge fund reported to Aggarwal’s employer that it suspected he was passing inside information, the person said. According to the criminal complaint, FBI agent Ronan Byrne interviewed Aggarwal, who later allegedly told him that, prior to becoming a research analyst, he’d worked at Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft.
Tripp Kyle, a partner at New York-based Millennium and Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Microsoft, didn’t immediately return voicemail messages seeking comment about Aggarwal’s case.
As a result of Aggarwal’s tips, SAC Capital on July 10, 2009, bought “several hundred thousand shares of Yahoo stock” while Lee bought 25,000 Yahoo shares in his personal account, according to court papers.