iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
The Sri Lankan-American former hedge fund manager and founder of the Galleon Group, Raj Rajaratnam, was arrested by the FBI in 2009 for his infamous insider trading, which in turn caused the Group to shut down.
He was later released in 2019 to home confinement in his Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, located on Sutton Place.
Rajaratnam has now authored a book, “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon”. This book accounts for how he was let down by the American Justice System.
In the book he says, “I went through a period of soul-searching. Why was this happening to me? Ultimately, I realized that I had to fight for my innocence and resolved to fight the battle to the finish”.
After all the allegation of ‘insider trading’ was based on just .01 percent of Galleon’s trade between 2005 and 2009. It was a microscopic proportion of Galleon’s trade.
Even these were backed by evidence supporting Rajaratnam’s claim that all decisions made by the hedge fund were based on well-researched written reports by its analysts. Not only that the so-called ‘insider trading’ that he was charged with had netted the hedge fund not a profit but a loss of “over $30 million”.
“I went to trial because I was not prepared to plead guilty for something that I did not do, no matter what the ultimate cost”, he says in his book.
Rajaratnam wrote the entire book by hand while in prison.
In an interview with Emmy-award-winning Adam Shapiro, Shapiro quoted a paragraph from Rajaratnam’s book; “The ambiguity of insider trading law is a perfect mismatch for the lawful work that hedge fund professionals engage in on a daily basis. It has been a long-standing and accepted precedent that financial professionals are permitted, if not encouraged, to ‘ferret’ out information about publicly traded companies in order to inform trading strategies.”
In reply to this, Rajaratnam said, “…insider laws are murky. And it’s incredible confusion for the market participants. And soon after my trial, the commissioner of the SEC said the beauty of insider trading laws is the flexibility for us to interpret it. So clearly, the law enforcement people don’t want these laws to be defined because it gives them flexibility.”
Rajaratnam firmly believed in the American justice system. Unfortunately, it was a system lacking in checks and balances. Consequently, it had allowed unscrupulous men to advance their own careers at the cost of delivering justice.
Amongst those singled out by Rajaratnam for abusing the U.S justice system is the publicity-hungry and ambitious U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara who had cleverly exploited the ambiguities of the law around ‘insider trading’ to advance his own career.
Bharara ran roughshod over the truth, standard DOJ protocols, and the office’s own dignity in his extraordinary zeal and in the process had earned a place in the cover of the Time Magazine.
Rajaratnam exposes Bharara’s hypocrisy by pointing out how Bharara who now works for the private sector makes a living out of questioning the validity of the very same laws upon which he had managed to convict the likes of Rajaratnam and others.
Rajaratnam sentence was one of the longest in his kind. He was ordered to pay $93mn, while the judge in his criminal case required him to forfeit $54mn and pay $10mn in fines.