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Closing Arguments Heard in Insider Trading Trial of Hedge Fund Boss Rajaratnam

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In closing arguments at the trial of hedge fund trader Raj Rajaratnam, prosecutors reminded the jury of the 45 audio recordings they’d heard throughout the seven-week trial part of extensive wire tapping evidence used to expose what they called the one-time billionaire's "corporate spies."

"You heard the defendant commit his crimes time and time again in his own words," assistant U.S. Attorney Reed Brodsky told the jury. "The tapes were devastating evidence of the defendant's crimes, in real time."

Rajaratnam is accused of raking in $68 million from illegal insider information.

The government paraded various witnesses who were allegedly corrupted by Rajaratnam. The former chairman of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, testified that a former board member had violated confidentiality policies.

In his closing arguments, Rajaratnam’s attorney said the tapes were only harmless chatter and that his client used legitimate research to conduct his trades.

Attorney General Brodsky referred to audio evidence of crimes and told the jury: "Let's go to the tapes."

In a 2008 tape, one hedge fund manager, who pleaded guilty to insider trading, tells Rajaratnam, "I'm a little nervous because you know people are going to investigate me. I really a believe that."

He then told her to buy one million shares of a tech stock on an inside tip, and turn around and sell 500,000 of those shares. Prosecutors said that was an example of Rajaratnam trying to throw off investigators.

This is the end of the three-year investigation into Rajaratnam’s Galleon Group hedge fund. There have already been two dozen arrests and 19 guilty pleas.

With the Associated Press

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