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Financial 411: Nassau County Mulls Sports Arena, Casino

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rajaratnum Convicted on Federal Fraud Charges

A Manhattan jury has convicted former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam on 14 federal fraud and conspiracy charges. Authorities said the insider trading case against him is the biggest ever involving a hedge fund.

To make their case, prosecutors relied heavily on wiretapped phone calls and the testimony of cooperating witnesses to argue that Rajaratnam used insider tips to earn profits — or prevent loses — totaling more than $60 million.  

"We're going to take an appeal on this conviction," said defense attorney John Dowd, during brief comments outside the courthouse on Wednesday.

Rajaratnam faces up to 25 years in sentencing, which is expected in July.

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens

The U.S. trade deficit widened by more than expected in March, as a result of soaring oil prices. The U.S. deficit in international trade of goods and services jumped 6 percent from the month before to $48.18 billion, according to the Commerce Department.

American companies sold more automobiles and other goods and services to customers abroad. But that wasn't enough to make up for an 18 percent rise in oil imports.

Markets

Oil prices tumbled nearly 5 percent on Wednesday, after a report from the government that people are driving less because of higher prices at the pump. On Wall Street, all the indexes were down.

The Dow Jones lost 130 points, to close at 12,630.
The S&P 500 finished at 1,342.
The NASDAQ ended the day at 2,845.

Nassau County Considers Sports Arena, Casino

Officials in Nassau County says they want to to build a $400 million hockey arena and minor league baseball field -- and a casino at the Belmont race track. County Executive Edward Managano made the announcement on Wednesday.

Is the casino a way for the financially troubled county to gamble its way back to financial health?

John Callegari, a reporter with Long Island Business news, explains about how the county plans to pay for the project, and talks about previous attempts to build a new hockey arena in Nassau County.

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