Galleon Group LLC co-founder Raj Rajaratnam, who was found guilty of all 14 criminal counts against him by a jury in May, lost a bid to have his convictions thrown out.
U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan denied Rajaratnam’s request for a post-trial acquittal, ruling that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence of conspiracy and securities fraud for the jury to convict. Holwell’s ruling was dated Aug. 11 and filed today.
Prosecutors from the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, calling Rajaratnam “the face of illegal insider trading,” have asked Holwell to give Rajaratnam as long as 24 years and five months in prison when he’s sentenced Sept. 27.
The U.S. called Rajaratnam the most “egregious violator” of insider-trading laws ever to be caught. He engaged in a seven-year conspiracy to trade on inside information from corporate executives, bankers, consultants, traders and directors of public companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), prosecutors said.
Terence Lynam, a lawyer for Rajaratnam, declined to comment on the ruling.
Rajaratnam, 54, gained $63.8 million as a result of the scheme, according to the government.
Prosecutors told jurors that Rajaratnam used inside information to trade ahead of public announcements about earnings, forecasts, mergers and spinoffs involving more than a dozen companies, according to the evidence presented to jurors in the eight-week trial. Among the companies were Santa Clara, California-based Intel Corp., Google Inc., ATI Technologies Inc. and Clearwire Corp.
Twice during the trial -- at the end of the prosecution case and at the close of the defense case -- lawyers for Rajaratnam asked Holwell to find that the evidence didn’t support a conviction. Holwell delayed ruling until after the jury convicted Rajaratnam of five counts of conspiring to trade on inside information and nine counts of trading on inside information.
In his ruling today, Holwell considered each of the counts, finding that prosecutors had introduced “evidence sufficient for a reasonable jury to find Rajaratnam guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” on all of them.
The case is U.S. v. Rajaratnam, 1:09-cr-01184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).