Robert Moffat, once tipped for the top job at IBM, has blamed his mistress for encouraging him to give her information which she used for insider dealing.
He is facing securities fraud and conspiracy charges, and prosecutors are asking for a six month prison sentence.
But Moffat's lawyers, speaking in mitigation, said Danielle Chiesi encouraged pillow talk and Moffat was showing off to her and did not profit from the information he provided. They also said he did not know Chiesi was using the information to trade.
In a letter to the court Moffat said his crimes were not "driven by greed or the desire to profit", but that he wanted to "appear important and knowledgeable to show Ms. Chiesi that I was 'in the know' about important matters", AP reports.
Moffat, who has already pleaded guilty, has previously said the worst loss of the episode was his reputation. He ran Big Blue's PC division, and was once considered next-in-line for chief executive or chairman of IBM.
44-year old Chiesi was an analyst for hedge fund New Castle and has pleaded not guilty to offences which could carry a 155-year sentence. She is being tried separately to Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.
The case centres on information connected to AMD's decision to spin off its chip manufacturing business, IBM's quarterly results and Sun's results during a period when IBM was considering buying the firm.
Some 21 people, including hedgies and Intel and McKinsey execs are facing charges relating to the scandal. ®