Prosecutors played taped conversations between a hedge fund boss and his alleged co-conspirators to begin the evidence phase in the insider trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.
Rajaratnam has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and security fraud charges in what prosecutors have billed as the largest hedge fund insider trading case in history.
More than two dozen people have already been charged and 19 of those have pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading and are cooperating with the government. Rajaratnam, who is free on $100 million bail, has been the only one to go to trial.
In opening statements Wednesday, Rajaratnam's defense attorney John Dowd told the court that prosecutors were using snippets of conversation out of context and that Rajaratnam was only doing what he was hired to do. Prosecutors accuse Rajaratnam of being motivated by greed.
In 2009, Forbes listed the Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam as the world’s 559th wealthiest billionaire, but his lawyers said he is no longer a billionaire.
With the Associated Press