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Rajaratnam Loses Appeal to Shorten 11-Year Prison Sentence

March 7, 2017

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Nearly 6 years ago, Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy by a federal jury in Manhattan. The billionaire investor who once ran one of the world’s largest hedge funds, was the most prominent figure ever convicted in the government’s crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street – a trophy verdict for Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara.


On 10/13/11, Rajaratnam was ordered to serve 11 years in prison – the longest sentence ever in an insider trading case, though far less than prosecutors sought. The judge also fined him $10 million and ordered him to forfeit nearly $54 million – which federal prosecutors approximated the sum total of Rajaratnam’s illegal profits and avoided losses.


On Friday, 3/3/17, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska rejected Rajaratnam’s bid to reduce both his prison sentence and his forfeiture. In her ruling, Judge Preska disagreed with Rajaratnam’s contention that he did not provide benefits to insiders for confidential information related to trades underlying 5 counts, or know that insiders provided that information for the sake of any benefit.


“Here, because all the information was transferred between trading relatives or friends, the mere transfer of information is sufficient to constitute a benefit."


Judge Preska further rejected Rajaratnam’s claim that 2 other counts should be vacated because the main government witness committed perjury, in part because the alleged contradictions by the witness were immaterial and that "a faulty memory resulting in inaccuracies or mistakes" did not mean perjury occurred.