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Key insider trading cooperator sentenced in NY

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NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge who went to court determined to send a Massachusetts hedge fund co-founder to prison for insider trading has changed his mind after a prosecutor described his key role in a historic prosecution.

Federal Judge Sidney Stein instead ordered Westwood, Mass., resident Steven Fortuna to serve six months of home confinement. The judge said Wednesday a prison sentence was appropriate and even necessary until he heard a prosecutor describe the extent of Fortuna's cooperation in what prosecutors once called the biggest insider trading case in history.

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

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