Rajaratnam Jury May Include Friend of Appaloosa’s David Tepper

The federal court jury that will consider criminal charges against Galleon Group LLC co-founder Raj Rajaratnam may include a friend of David Tepper, the founder of Appaloosa Management LP.

Karen Suchoff, one of the people questioned in jury selection in Rajaratnam’s insider-trading trial in Manhattan yesterday, told U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell that she knows a David Tepper who owns a hedge fund. The answer came in response to Holwell asking jurors whether any family or close friends work as bankers or brokers or for mutual funds or hedge funds.

Suchoff didn’t make it clear whether her friend is David A. Tepper, who manages Appaloosa. Tepper didn’t return a voice-mail message left at his office after regular business hours yesterday.

“I just know that he owns a hedge fund,” Suchoff told Holwell. “I don’t know really what the hedge fund is.”

Suchoff said that Tepper doesn’t discuss business with her and that her friendship with him won’t affect her ability to serve on Rajaratnam’s jury. Holwell asked Suchoff if she sees Tepper regularly.

“Not regularly,” she said. “We spend a lot of holidays together.”

Tepper hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing or of having any connection to the Galleon case.

Holwell told lawyers in the case to be ready to give their opening statements today after they finish selecting 12 jurors and six alternates.

The case is U.S. v. Rajaratnam, 1:09-cr-01184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).