May 11, New York: A New York City jury today has found the Sri Lankan-born Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam guilty on all counts in the high-profile insider trading trial.
The verdict was announced Wednesday morning in New York. The jury had been deliberating for about a week before delivering the verdict today.
Rajaratnam, 53, who managed the $7 billion Galleon Group hedge fund was accused of 14 counts of security fraud and conspiracy and was on trial in Manhattan federal court. He could face up to 20 years in prison.
Rajaratnam is alleged of generating 45 million dollars in profits from the inside trading. The illegal trading activities go as far back as 2003 involving multiple schemes to trade stocks in companies including Hilton Hotels, Google, AMD, Akamai, IBM, and Sun Microsystems.
His defense team argued that he relied on public information and complex analysis for his decisions. He is expected to appeal the verdict.
The verdict on the government case that was built on the wire-tap evidence could encourage the authorities to use such aggressive tactics to prosecute future errant investment figures.
Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan Tamil immigrated to the US in 1981. He was an old boy of St. Thomas College in Mount Lavinia. He founded the Galleon hedge fund group in 1997.
His Galleon Fund was one of Sri Lanka’s largest foreign investment funds and had large stakes in blue-chip companies. He was the single largest shareholder of conglomerate John Keells Holdings with 52.4 million shares.