Galleon’s Rajaratnam Found Guilty
By PETER LATTMAN, The New York Times
May 11, 2011, 10:50
Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire investor who once ran one of the world’s largest hedge funds, was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy on Wednesday by a federal jury in Manhattan. He is the most prominent figure convicted in the government’s crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.
The government built its case against Mr. Rajaratnam with powerful wiretap evidence. Over a nine-month stretch in 2008, federal agents secretly recorded Mr. Rajaratnam’s telephone conversations. They listened in as Mr. Rajaratnam brazenly – and matter-of-factly – swapped inside stock tips with corporate insiders and fellow traders.
“I heard yesterday from somebody who’s on the board of Goldman Sachs that they are going to lose $2 per share,” Mr. Rajaratnam said to one of his employees in advance of the bank’s earnings announcement.
“One thing we know, this is very confidential, someone is going to put in a term sheet for Spansion,” he told a colleague, referring to a proposed acquisition of a technology company.
“So yesterday they agreed on, at least they’ve shaken hands,” a tipster told Mr. Rajaratnam about an upcoming deal involving another publicly traded business. “So I think, uh, you can now just buy.
Galleon brought Mr. Rajartnam great wealth. Forbes magazine pegged his net worth at $1.3 billion. He owns a second home in the wealthy suburb of Greenwich, Conn., and a condominium at the Setai Hotel in Miami Beach. During the trial, Mr. Rajaratnam’s former friends told the jury about lavish vacations including, for his 50th birthday, chartering a private jet to fly dozens of family and friends for a safari in Kenya.
Under Federal sentencing guidelines Rajaratnam is liable for at least 5 years per count (not that he’s likely to serve that).