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Insider trading: Rajaratnam’s trial begins in NY

PTI New York | Updated on November 17, 2017

Sri Lanka-born billionaire and Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, the main accused in one of the largest insider trading cases in the US which also involves several Indian-origin suspects, went on trial and could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted.

A packed courthouse in Manhattan began the trial on Tuesday with the US District Judge, Mr Richard Holwell, disclosing a 15-page questionnaire, prepared to determine whether the juror had any prejudices that would prevent the person from taking an impartial view of the facts to be presented in the case.

A total of 12 jurors are to be selected along with six alternate jurors. Mr Holwell also asked some people to approach the Bench and questioned them privately.

The central question in the case is whether Mr Rajaratnam accumulated $45 million using leaked confidential information. Unlike many of his co-accused, the 53-year-old business tycoon has not pleaded guilty.

Mr Holwell said the trial would last two months and include testimony from more than 100 witnesses, which include Mr Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs Group. This is the first case to use authorised wiretapping and information.

Mr Rajaratnam, who is charged with 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy, could face 20 years in prison if convicted. So far, 19 people have pleaded guilty in the case including Mr Rajiv Goel, former Intel executive, and Mr Anil Kumar, a former director at McKinsey & Co.

Mr Rajaratnam’s legal team includes Mr John Dowd and lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

The embattled billionaire has reportedly run up a legal bill of $40 million. Mr Dowd is a 69-year-old former military lawyer know for his combative style in court.

Jury selection will be followed by opening statements from both sides.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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