Teachers, Retirees Are Among Those Picked for Rajaratnam Jury
Teachers, retirees, municipal workers, a Federal Reserve employee were among the 18 jurors chosen to consider insider-trading charges against Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of hedge fund Galleon Group LLC.
The panel also includes an unemployed 35-year-old whose band, he said, could really use a drummer.
U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan swore in 12 jurors and six alternates yesterday for a trial he said may last 2 1/2 months. The panel was chosen from a pool of about 300 from New York City and surrounding counties who answered questions about their backgrounds for a day and a half.
Rajaratnam, 53, is the central figure in a nationwide investigation of hedge-fund insider trading that has implicated technology companies, banks and consultants. The Sri Lankan-born money manager is accused of making $45 million from confidential information leaked by corporate insiders and hedge-fund traders. He may spend as long as 20 years in prison if convicted.
The New York hedge fund manager has denied wrongdoing, arguing that investment advisers routinely speak to company insiders as part of their research on companies. The jurors, who were identified by number only, heard opening statements yesterday.
Juror 1, 49, said he works as a station agent for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and lives with his wife and daughters.
Juror 2, 70, a retired bookkeeper with past criminal jury experience, said she was briefly a volunteer with the Israeli Defense Forces. She watches “Two and a Half Men.”
Juror 3, a 27-year-old Bronx woman, told Holwell that she’s an activities therapist for a private nursing home. She said she enjoys family trips and watching the programs “True Blood” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Juror 4, 49, a woman who lives in East Harlem, has worked in food service for the city’s Board of Education for 31 years and likes watching television, particularly soap operas, she said. Her education is through the 11th grade, she said.
Juror 5, a 61-year-old nurse, lives in Westchester County and has a son in the Navy, she said. The juror has three years of college and doesn’t read newspapers. She said she babysits her grandchildren in her spare time.
Juror 6, 52, who is also from Westchester County and works for the New Jersey Board of Education, said she is a fan of Oprah Winfrey.
Juror 7, 68, lives alone in Manhattan, reads the New York Daily News and watches “The Late Show” with David Letterman on television, he told the judge. He said he works as a receiving clerk and attended school to the eighth grade.
Juror 8, a 46-year-old woman from the Bronx, teaches blind and visually impaired children, she said. She likes reality television shows and loves baseball, she said.
‘Basic Guy Stuff’
Juror 9 is a 56-year-old graphic artist working for Apple Inc. He moved to the Bronx after living about eight blocks from the downtown Manhattan courthouse. His favorite television shows include “Man v. Food” and sports programs on the ESPN network, what he called “the basic guy stuff.”
Juror 10, 48, a man from the Riverdale section of the Bronx, said he works for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.
Juror 11, 53, a lifelong resident of Westchester County, said she has worked for Verizon Communications Inc. for 31 years. She watches “Oprah,” “Dateline” and “America’s Most Wanted,” she told Holwell.
Juror 12, a 55-year-old Manhattan resident, works as a customer service representative for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He said he is active in his church and is a bird watcher. He reads five newspapers, and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he said.
The alternate jurors include a science teacher from the Bronx, a New York City teacher who lives in Westchester County and restores churches, a Parks Department foreman who lives in Mount Vernon, a school aide from the Bronx, and an information technology specialist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Alternate juror 6 told Holwell he is unemployed and lives in Harlem with his girlfriend and two roommates. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and has held temporary jobs at the American Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. He said he enjoys reading and video games and belongs to a band that’s looking for a drummer.
In college in the early 1990s, he was charged with a misdemeanor for receiving stolen property and pleaded guilty, he said.
“It was a street sign that was in my room and they threw as much of the book as they could at me, but I got away from it,” he told Holwell.
The case is U.S. v. Rajaratnam, 1:09-cr-01184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Manhattan).
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in U.S. District Court in Manhattan at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at firstname.lastname@example.org.