Rajaratnam Convicted Of Insider Trading
Forty-five wiretaps, 11 days of deliberation and 12 jury members. That’s what it took to nail hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam on all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy Wednesday. The result of the case against Rajaratnam, founder of Galleon Group, is one of the most significant insider trading convictions in U.S. history, according to reports.
The hedge fund manager made $63.8 million in illegal dealings before he was arrested. He was brought to trial in March. He was set free on $100 million bail and will face sentencing July 29, according to CNBC.
The verdict marks one the most high-profile successful prosecutions of a financial giant since the convictions of Bernard Ebbers and Jeffrey Skilling, former top executives at WorldCom and Enron, respectively, last decade.
The conviction could strengthen the hand of [Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet] Bharara, who has made insider-trading enforcement a focus of his office. Prosecutors in New York are in the midst of pursuing other large insider-trading probes, including one involving "expert network" firms, in which consultants hired to provide information to hedge funds are accused of giving them inside information.
NPR has a roundup of some of the most incriminating wiretaps used in the case. Here’s an excerpt of that report:
In one of the more telling conversations, Rajaratnam talks about how one investor was going to issue a "term sheet for Spansion," meaning they were proposing business terms to acquire a technology company. Then, with full knowledge that stocks of Spansion would swell, he proposes buying.
"You know, between the term sheet and negotiations all will be a month we can buy, you know?" Rajaratnam is heard saying in one of the wiretaps. "But this is the one that we also have to make sure that we keep our conversations just privileged to the three of us. ... The best way to do these things is to say, you know, 'I sent an email to you saying, you know, have you thought of Spansion? The stock looks cheap.' Right?"
Rajaratnam could face “as many as 20 years in prison on each count of securities fraud and up to five years on each count of conspiracy,” according to WSJ.
Rajaratnam's attorney John Dowd, asked for comment by CNBC after the conviction was announced, told the reporter to "get the fuck out of here" and gave him the finger.
Watch the bizarre video below: