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Lawyers for a woman blamed by an insider trading co-defendant for using pillow talk to get inside secrets faulted her boss on Monday, saying he bullied her during a 20-year affair to make her get illegal secrets for him.

The lawyers, seeking leniency for Danielle Chiesi, wrote in a submission to a federal judge in Manhattan that Chiesi was manipulated by her boss, Mark Kurland, for nearly two decades as he carried on the affair, which began when he was 40 years old and she was 22.

Chiesi, now 45, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy and securities fraud charges, and her voice was heard frequently on audio tapes played last month at the trial of her friend Raj Rajaratnam, a one-time billionaire hedge fund founder awaiting sentencing in what prosecutors say is the biggest case ever to result from hedge fund insider trading. The conviction of three more defendants by a jury Monday means all of more than two dozen people arrested in the case have been convicted.

Chiesi's lawyers asked a judge to reject the government's request that Chiesi be sentenced to three to four years in prison, saying she is less culpable than Kurland, who already has been sentenced to two years and three months behind bars.




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